Roadside Treasures: Deer Legs

When I was a child, I had pet hermit crabs. They were the most exciting pet a child could have; until their legs started to fall off and they died. Terrified, I never kept hermit crabs again. I now fear the same thing that killed my poor crustacean friends is affecting the local deer population.


I see deer legs everywhere I go.  Without the deer. Along side the road, in fields and in the woods. My dog enjoys this. I wonder where they all came from; besides a deer. Seeing some knobby legs near a dead deer or spot where a corpse laid makes sense. Seeing four or five bodiless legs lying around while walking your dog is a little weird.

It makes perfect sense, though. Not a lot of meat to those bones, but scavengers will happily drag on around to chew on anyway. When the snow melts and all those nice freeze-dried deer are unearthed, the coyotes throw a party.

However, it doesn’t explain some of the other animal parts I’ve discovered in my neighborhood over the past 30 years. Most recently I saw half a deer head and a completely impact pelt on the side of the road. When I was a kid, a black bag oozing blood sat, unmolested, where my bus dropped me off every day (I finally opened it to reveal butchered deer parts). I also have a clear memory of my dad dragging a totally skinned, headless, legless carcass out of the road on the way to school one day.

Of course, there are always the death pits I discovered in the orchard next to my house after coming home from college. Imagine finding the coyote equivalent of the killing fields of Cambodia while walking in the field you used to play in as a child. I thought I had wandered into some monster’s lair.

One that ate a lot of dogs, along with everything else that ate what was left of the eaten dogs.


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