Monthly Archives: December 2011

Where did that come from?

As I was dragging the deer around this morning (see earlier post), I saw a lot of gopher mounds and noticed stark difference in the soil within a few feet of each other.

The first sample is as I’d expect: lot’s of sand.

The next sample is also common, with a little more clay content. Usually what I find when I’m preparing a new garden.

Then we have this sample, a little darker, maybe some organic matter worked in. I see this occasionally along fence lines, down slope, where a lot of organic matter gets trapped.

Then finally this sample. This is the blackest soil I’ve ever seen on our property, and I have no idea what caused it. You can see a more typical sample in the top right hand corner. I think it’s time to take some more samples to the County Extension office and investigate this further. Seeing this black soil sure makes me want to get some buckets and see what I can grow. Too bad it’s winter.

The ugly side of rural living

Around 4AM Sunday morning, D’Argo started woofing. I tried to ignore him, but then I heard a couple of horrific bleating screams outside. I went outside to see, without D’Argo, much to his chagrin, and heard rustling in the leaves on the hill to the East then movement away. It was still dark, the dogs in the neighborhood were all barking, but everything else was quiet.

When I let the dogs out after first light, D’Argo ran straight up the hillside and started crying at the gate when I tried to call him back. He wanted to show me something, and this is what I found. This picture was taken Monday morning after I had moved the carcass. Originally it was up on the hill not far from our well, and barely touched, but definitely mauled, not shot. My best guess is feral dogs, although coyotes are also a possibility and they disappeared when they heard me open the door. I’m of the opinion that Coyotes would have done a better job of killing the deer, but who knows. On Sunday night, something came back and tried to drag the body away, but didn’t manage to get very far, and did start consuming it.

I had already decided to move the carcass because I didn’t really want predators milling so close to the dog pasture, so this morning I roped the legs and dragged it off to the back of the property. For my family in Canada, who are used to big deer, our deer are only about 150lbs, and this one was a yearling. Dragging it by hand was like pulling a loaded sled. I did find a freshly dug burrow where I left the body, so someone will have a surprise when they emerge tonight. Hopefully it’s something that enjoys carrion. If it hadn’t been winter, I would have left the deer out in the open, but all the vultures have left the vicinity for warmer climes.

It ain’t pretty, but it’s all part of rural living. I’m just glad there’s something around that might put a dent in the deer population.