Turkey Vultures & Tragedy in Mowed Field

Hay was cut today.  The disc mower usually kills some things:  snakes, rabbits, etc.  The dogs enjoy the after-the-hay-cut walks very much.  This time a turkey vulture beat them to it (whatever it was).  Later I took the dogs to find out what it was.  Unfortunately, it was a fawn not a snake.

      

Killing a young fawn with a mower isn’t unusual, since when danger comes fawns freeze and curled up in a ball on the ground.  This must work some of the time for predators, but never with a tractor and mower.  I know this happens, but seeing it saddened me.  This leg and a scrap of fur was all I found.  As we walked away, beside the strip of woods between the field and pond, a deer snorted and ran.  Momma.  I wished I’d never gone to look.

Disgusted, I left our usual, longer, trail trudged straight up the hill towards the house.  I saw another dead thing.  It looked like a dead Speckled Sussex hen, wings flung about, but I don’t have any more Speckled Sussex hens.  I walked towards it, wondering what dead thing I would find.  As I got closer, what I thought were wings, were ears!  It was another fawn, very tiny and curled up.  I thought it might be dead, leg torn off and it got this far to die.  Yes, I know that’s ridiculous, but anyway I crept up full of trepidation.  Then I saw a dark eye, peering at me from the chestnut ball with white spots.  I got closer, and it jumped up.  I counted legs:  one, two, three, four!  Then she ran away.  Then stopped and stared long enough for me to fight with the zoom on my phone and get the blurry picture, below.

The dogs were totally oblivious the whole time, and also, I saw the fawn leg first because I can see red.  Human eyesight, and our height, is an awesome advantage.  If you want to see the limits to what a dog is able to see, get down to their height and look around.  On the other hand, they are obsessed with smell because it holds a lot of information we will never know.

Whitetail does bred at 1.5 years and older typically have two fawns: Fawn Facts.