Utah Wildlife Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came across this medium-sized doe deer carcass yesterday in thick aspens, at about 8200 feet. It seemed very fresh, with blood (or maybe rainwater) pooled in the chest cavity, no smell at all. The hind right leg was completely gone. Its eye was open and it was on a well-used game path.

Can someone who knows predators speculate about how it died?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
565 Posts
That's a tough one. Most lion kills I've seen (~10), fresh and not so fresh, had a lot of hair everywhere from being plucked from the carcass, stomach extracted and uneaten or buried, puncture wounds on the head and neck, dragged to a cache site, and covered in debris, femur cracked open, lion scrapes.

Maybe some coyotes grabbed her while she was having a fawn, and therefore targeted the hind end. Everybody knows that coyotes are single handedly responsible for every worldwide population decline of every ungulate species :mrgreen:. Seriously though, it doesn't look like other lion kill sites I've seen, but I'm no expert.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Not a lion kill. The first thing a lion does is drag a kill away to protect it from scavengers. So sign of any attempt to move the carcass here. Most of the visible pickings on the carcass are from birds. Coyotes may have been chewing on it's ham, but I'm doubtful they were the cause of death. You normally see deer being attacked by coyotes choose a depression or, deadfall, or other natural barrier to make a last stand. But in the middle of a well used game trail?? Still possible, but unlikely.

This is the time of year does are birthing, and not all deliveries go well. My suspicion is that this deer died from complications of fawn birth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
681 Posts
This is going to sound crazy, but a couple of years ago I came upon a sheep (domestic, not big horn) that looked just like that. While I was examining it to see if I could determine cause of death I caught movement out of my peripheral vision. Moving closer to the fallen log where I had seen the motion I spotted a skunk laying under the tree. He was absolutely bloated with the flesh he had been consuming. Now I'm not saying there are skunks killing big game or livestock:shock: but once something is dead they don't miss an opportunity for a little protein.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the enlightening replies you guys, glad I could take this question to people who know their stuff!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
I agree with what has been written. I'd guess natural death followed by scavenging.

Good chance a bear will show up though in the future.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top