Yesterday was a busy day for the dogs, starting with a lot of predawn barking above and below the house. Later in the morning, Rowdy was at their "bone yard" over the septic tank, noshing on something that turned out to be a deer foreleg, I took it away from him, initially putting it in the trash, but later retrieved it to do a sketch.
I decided to walk down to the draw downhill and East of the house, between us and the neighbors to see if there was any sign of why the dogs had been barking there. At the bottom, on the East side is a small rocky cliff with overhangs and small cave-like shelters, a perfect place for critters to have a home. Squirrel or mouse activity is evident, and I've also wondered if the foxes use this area, too. We also hear turkeys gobbling from this area from time to time, and there was a feather down there. No sign of any activity, so back to the house to sketch the deer leg.
Noted while sketching was the slightly concave shape of the bottom of hoof. I suppose a completely flat surface would provide almost no traction -? While sketching, I heard Rowdy behind me, up on the path on top of the rock wall, again snacking on something. Here was the deer's hind leg assembly and attached, skinned pelt, clearly cut with a knife and not an animal's work. This made me decide to get out the small trail camera, and take it down into the bottom of the draw. After some fits and starts, with dead batteries, and remembering how to use it, I got it set up in a willow. I'll check later today to see if I've got any pictures. We have another older trail camera that I'll also put out again.
I did send an email to FWP to report the poached deer, and we'll see if they have anything to say about this second incident.