Death on the perimeter: to catch a predator

The dangers that lurk in Frontier have struck too close to home.  Yesterday I discovered a partially devoured deer carcase not much more than 300 feet outside of my front door.

 

 

At my home there are no fences to protect us from the frontier.   This is the 2nd deer carcase I have found.  The last one was 965 feet away from my front door, up and over a big hill, concerning, but the body was long decayed so I couldn’t see that it had been torn up.  This was right next to a homeless camp so I had entertained the possibility in my mind that perhaps the homeless guy who wanted a venison meal had butchered it there.

 

Approaching the crime scene there were some fascinating tracks, which at first appeared to be a single, impossibly large cloven hoof, but upon consideration of the spacing and depth of the tracks, it’s possible that the deer was running full-out, as if it was running for its life.  Just a few feet down the hill I found the carcase.  The Stomach which had its last meal of grasses in it was located about 15 feet away from the main carcase.   WARNING PICS NOT FOR SQUEMISH

 

 

 

Separating the inedible entrails from the carcase is something a skilled hunter does.  The carcase itself had been partially devoured.  Ribs and hind legs were picked to the bone, forelegs were left.

 

 

Something killed this deer just 25 feet from my driveway, 60 feet from a major thoroughfare.   This is turning me into one of those paranoid parents who is afraid to let their kid go outside for fear of being abducted and killed by some predator.  Except that my kid is a Beagle, the predator is probably a Mountain Lion, and I’m totally justified in my concerns.

 

 

We got Tess this GPS collar so we could locate her when she runs off.  She had the habit of disappearing for an hour while we frantically search the hills in vain.   Then she would call us home with a bark and laugh at having gotten us so riled up trying to find her.   The collar solves that all, we know exactly where she is at all times.   Although the recieveir has a crude means of telling her had position, it does not have a sensor to tell you is whether she is engaged in battle with a bear or mountain lion.   At first my rule was “if she gets more than 75 yards away, I give chase”.  But it’s easy to neglect glancing at the receiver for a minute to find that she’s booked it 300 yards up the mountain at a full run.

 

 

 

Before, my policy was to consider that a predator may be around the next corner, and to always be prepared to fight, kill or die to protect Tess.  Now I must consider that the the beasts may very well be upon my doorstep.  I’ve often called my dog the “Luckiest dog in the world”, but I’m afraid that luck could change very quickly.  My friend who has lost several cats to predators tells me the Cougars come out in the spring and the summer.  She became resigned to accepting that it was better for her cats to live free, happy, and shorter lives than to live a long unhappy life cooped up inside.  I’m not about to accept this outcome just yet, I’m staying by her side and any lions who want to take her are going to have to go through me.

 

Great freedom, great dangers, great responsibility.

 

Broomfield, Colorado, United States