Our land is near The Big Thicket Preserve, which means we get lots of wildlife visiting our property. Also, the spring-fed creek on our land entices the local furry creatures to come get a cool, refreshing drink.
As Deputy Dave mowed some of the grounds, I began inspecting a pathway from the creek toward The Big Thicket and found these tracks.
The ground is soft, but I don't know how big this deer must be to make this size track.
Deputy Dave once had a very close encounter with a huge buck on our property as he was working near the creek. As Deputy Dave bent down to collect a large fallen branch, he heard the forest ground behind him cracking. Suddenly, a very large buck appeared at a powerful run to jump the creek directly to Deputy Dave's left side and it startled the cock-a-doodle-do out of the Deputy. To be fair, the buck was not expecting us to be in the middle of his domain.
As the buck jumped past Deputy Dave, he yelled out to me, "Watch Out!" and I spun in a non-graceful circle just in time to completely miss seeing the buck before it disappeared into the woods. Of course, that is my luck, I missed the entire big buck show, but the buck did run on flighted feet very close to me.
So, we do have abundant deer on our property.
This will be such fun when it comes time to plant our gardens! Yah!
An old fallen white oak tree on our property seems to be a comfy hang-out for a local deer hunter. This is not the first time we've come across a deer hunter's things on our land. Deputy Dave had also found a deer blind in a tree and he removed all of the equipment so that the trespasser could not come back so easily. We've put up "No Trespassing" signs all over the place, but it doesn't work. Nothing works with the exception of our constant presence on the acreage.
Our generator is against this fallen tree, but if you look closely, you'll see the yellowed foam pad that a hunter has used to sit and wait out a passing deer. The deer tracks that I took a picture of in the above photos are tracks crossing directly along the length of the fallen tree.
Okay, here's a closer view of the foam pad used as a comfortable seat in the woods.
As for deer on our property, Deputy Dave and I went for a walk during our camp-out and the dogs raced off into the woods on a sniffing expedition. Immediately, I realized that they had located something that would surely be "interesting." Walking closer, I said, "That's a deer skull."
At first, Deputy Dave didn't quite agree with my declaration, until he walked closer and picked up...a deer skull.
Yep, it's a deer skull with the antlers attached.
"You're going to have to bleach this thing," he says.
I respond, "Oh sure, I'll get right on it...I'm an expert at bleaching deer skulls and other animal bones found in the woods."
It was a funny moment. Get out the bleach! We wouldn't want to have a dirty deer skull lying around the house.
Back at our camp site, Howdy is not ready to part with his treasured forest find. He is in love. He likes the look of it; he likes the smell of it; he is intrigued.
I think he's trying to herd the dead deer. He's not quite trusting that it's really not going anywhere. He continuously circles the deer skull suspiciously.
Howdy decides to take a different approach and he looks at his newfound forest buddy in the missing "eyes" one more time. I can almost hear Howdy's warning, "Don't you go anywhere; You hear? I'm watching you."
The country has so much to offer, so many surprises and hidden treasures. The forest can be wonderful, but it can also be a bit creepy.
And if anyone out there knows how to deal with a deer head that has antlers attached, I have a few questions...
#1 Can I really bleach it to whiten it? And would I use regular household bleach?
#2 Will the antlers remain attached to the deer skull?
#3 Can anyone tell the age of this deer by looking at it along with other information?
If you have anything to offer about this deer skull, I'm eager to hear what you have to say about it. Bones will be a weird collection to start comprising, but our future grand-kids will probably think it's pretty cool. Heck, I'm 43 and I think that finding a skull in the woods is still fairly amusing.
But, deep down, I'm a geek. Yes, Deputy Dave is married to a geek. A funky kind of science-minded geek. At least I'm never bored because life has too much to offer for me to be resting on my non-existent laurels.
And geeks like icky things, perhaps that's one of the reasons I'm drawn to life in the country...not just for the beauty and peacefulness, but for the weird, interesting things that you'd never find in the city.
Such is the country life...icky things definitely have their place.