This is a story I’d love to share. It’s about some wild animals (maybe no so wild) that populate our town of Cedaredge Colorado. Cedaredge is on the south slope of The Grand Mesa.
Last Friday, I went out to the street to get the morning paper just before dawn and it was just getting light. Our motion detector light was on in the driveway. I thought that this was strange and looked about to see what had triggered it, as I hadn’t gotten that far. I saw a buck deer move behind the scrub oak thicket in the vacant lot next door. So that was my answer.
Later in the morning, I again started out the front door to get the mail. There again was that mule deer buck, but he was lying in the shadeed lawn about ten feet from the doorstep, I watched him, and he watched me. He didn’t seem to be afraid. Does and fawns are often in our yard , but bucks are not. My going to the mailbox didn’t bother him. The bucks antlers had four points on each side and were in velvet and obviously were still growing. Carol Ann took some pictures as he was a handsome buck. Later, he up to move to a shadeier spot and we watched him. He was obviously injured. When he moved it was very difficult as his right rear leg dangled loosely. It was broken just above the knee. With our next door neighbors we saw that the buck was in very poor shape. His backbone and ribs jutted out. With that crippled leg he couldn’t browse enough to eat. We talked that he looked to be suffering greatly and should be put-down. The local police were called as well as the animal control . The came out but said that they couldn’t shoot the buck unless he couldn’t get up. We all agreed just to let nature take its course, but we would probably need to find away for disposing of his corpse if the deer died on our properties.
We didn’t see the buck for a day and assumed that he had wandered off to die. Then a surprising thing happened. Six mule deer bucks came up the trail in our backyard from the creek. This was a very unusual thing to happen in August. Two bucks would be considered to be trophy animals by ang hunter, Two bucks had racks of six points on each sid and two bucks were yearlings with only knoby antlers. We watched them trom our patio and they watched us with no concern. Every Spring we see newborn fawns come out of the wild brush along the creek. so we have been accustomed to the wild deer in our backyard not being afraid of us. We never try to feed them or try to make them pets, but they have learned to not fear us. We think that these six bucks may have been born in the thickets and learned the lay of the land and the fact that they were safe here.
Last night Carol Ann and the neighbor Pat, found the carcass of the crippled buck just off the trail where the six bucks came up. We think that this highly unusual incident of six bucks being on the trail where the injured buck died or was dying was not a coincidence. Those six bucks , of different ages, were there to be with their dying: friend, brother, cousin, uncle, or other. How the dying buck was able to communicate to the group of six his exact location is one of the many mysteries of the animal world that we humans have yet to learn.
Yes, we and our neighbors must still dispose of the remains, but I don’t mind so much now that I have a story and a mystery to tell over and over.