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mule deer remains

Odocoileus hemionus


I was hiking down a tiny canyon with my dad when we found this unfortunate fellow… I wanted to stick around and take pictures, but there were very fresh big cat tracks in the sand around the bones, so we kept walking.


High desert canyon.


Happy Halloween!

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EmilyMarino 10 years ago

Please consider adding this picture to the "Identifying Animals Through Osteology" Mission!

textless 10 years ago

Thanks Fiana and Carol... it was a very odd thing to find. There was almost no flesh left on the bones, but the joints in the neck and spine were still flexible. So it was very fresh.

CarolSnowMilne 10 years ago

Yes, weird and crazy! Good find!

FianaShapiro 10 years ago

Oh wow, it's weird how the whole skeleton is so intact.

textless 10 years ago

It does kind of look like a deer-headed caterpillar now that you mention it. :)

Ismael Chaves
Ismael Chaves 10 years ago

First picture looks like a caterpillar with a deer head

textless 10 years ago

Thanks Alice... I was really excited about it even though I felt bad for the poor deer.

alicelongmartin 10 years ago

I finally got back to look at the footprints, those look pretty big to me. Good work!

textless 10 years ago

Thanks CorduneauVlad and Longmustache. I'm pretty confident about the tracks based on others I've seen... These were definitely at least 3.5 inches long. Here's a pretty good comparison of bobcat and mountain lion tracks, with coyote thrown in for good measure:,4570,7-153... :)

windmustache 10 years ago

Amazing spotting!

CorduneanuVlad 10 years ago

Nice shot of the cat tracks. I'm no expert but by the looks of it, I would suggest bob cat tracks. I think cougar tracks should be larger.

textless 10 years ago

Hi Alice, and thanks for the nice comment! Pictures 3 and 5 are of the cat tracks... the first with my hand for scale and the second with money. :)

alicelongmartin 10 years ago

A Big Find for Signs of Wildlife! Thanks. Perhaps you should have taken a picture of the big cat tracks also.

textless 10 years ago

Thanks Karen... I thought it was really spooky!

KarenL 10 years ago

Great spot - & very appropriate for halloween!

Spotted by

Dove Creek, Colorado, USA

Spotted on Oct 16, 2011
Submitted on Oct 31, 2011


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