As we got down to one of the front corners of the property, in an area where I had cleared some brush over the summer, something odd caught my eye:
It's right in the middle, just a little below center - a white form on the ground. Funny, I thought, I don't remember a big rock being there.
The dog was interested, so I walked up and....
What must have been a beautiful buck - maybe even the one that scraped up a bunch of trees in my yard - crumpled in a heap, dead for at least a few days from either car or bullet. On my land. As noted in the title of this post, my thought: "Oh cripes, what do I do now?"
This happened on my family's land while growing up, but there were big, open spaces around us where the deer carcass could be dropped - and my dad was there to do it. I don't think he'll be willing to drive 400 miles to take care of this one - and there really isn't anywhere to go with it without loading it in the back of my car. I wonder what my garbage man would think if I dragged it down for next week's pickup.
For now, the thin layer of snow actually makes the situation a bit more bearable - it's almost serene. Everything is frozen, so I don't have to worry about decomposition right away. I think it's a 10-point buck - I didn't lift the head to check the antlers on the other side - and I may just leave it, and let nature take its course (no brush cutting in that area next spring). I'd like to harvest the antlers - they're really nice. I'll just have to keep the dog away from the scene.
A side note - my dad's dog, Daisy, stumbled upon one of those deer carcasses in the woods back home a few years ago. It was desiccated corpse, but she still found it irresistible - to the point that she'd wander up into the woods every chance she got to gnaw on it. Finally, one Christmas morning after presents, the whole family helped load the thing up on a sled and skid it to a distant, inaccessible location. To this day, years later, the dog still goes back to the original spot where the deer was, looking for her long-lost snack bar.