Buck Dead In Barn Field: Why Did This Deer Die? (Episode 44 Transcript)

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WOODS: Just looking at it here.  Look for any sign of wound or there’s no blood around the ground at all.  No injuries.  The deer obviously just crashed because there’s cornstalks in between its legs.  It just crashed here.  There’s no boot prints or drag marks around.

WOODS: Good morning.  It’s September 21st and I was walking very early this morning.  I walk frequently when I’m home to meditate and keep kind of a mental balance in my life and, and unfortunately, I found this yearling buck right in the middle of a food plot.  Now, the first thing I do when I find a deer like this is look for the nose.  If there’s blood coming out of the nose, there’s trauma, it’s been hit by a car or shot or something and that’s not the case.  I don’t see any obvious scars or evidence of a bullet wound or an archery wound, but it’s always a concern.  Now there are natural causes of death in whitetails just like humans.  Disease and accidents and other stuff, but I want to determine why to make sure there wasn’t a trespasser on The Proving Grounds last night.  So, we’re going to do a necropsy, go through here and see if we can determine the cause of death.  When you find a fresh kill like this and I don’t see any predator sign around, any sign of a struggle or fight.  It’s just like boom.  There’s this dead deer.  You want to find out why to make sure there’s not a problem on your property, so stay tuned.  We’re gonna, we’ve already called the game warden and got permission.  Because I’m not putting a tag on this deer.  It’s a yearling buck, clearly a yearling buck and see if we can determine the cause of death of this yearling buck, September 21st.

WOODS: Let’s just lay him over real carefully.  Oh, there is blood on this side.  Uh, I think we found our problem here.  We’ve got a – I’m trying to determine if that’s a broadhead hole, which I don’t think so.  You want to be careful sticking your finger in something like this because of that razor sharp broadhead.  Wait a minute.  I’ve got the heavy end here.  136.2.  136.2.  Great yearling buck.  This is a fibroma.  It’s just like a wart on a human.  It’s not a problem and they can get great big and if you skin it out right beneath here, you wouldn’t even know it was there, so it has no impact on the quality of the meat.  If I had fresh harvested this deer, I would certainly consume it.  My family and I.  But they get great big.  Sometimes they get secondary infections from running through bushes and getting cut and if you see a big infection with active puss or something like that, you might not want to consume the animal, but he’s skin under here.  You won’t even notice that was on there.  Perfectly safe to consume that animal.

WOODS: We’re just going to do a little quick necropsy.  We found this wound and we can’t really tell what it is, so we’re gonna dig inside here.

WOODS: He got a cheap shot on the liver.  But that doesn’t look like a normal bullet or; see there’s where it sliced the liver, right there.  There’s the, that’s what caused, cause of death right there is that hole in the liver.  It just slowly bled out.  But it just went through that one lobe of the liver.

QUENTEN: Well, Grant, we’re, it’s not showing anything on this deer as far as anything being inside of it.

WOODS: Sure.

QUENTEN: I brought a bullet to show that it will, it will find something if it’s in there.  I’ll stick it underneath its leg here.

WOODS: Sure.

QUENTEN: We can run it across there and see.

WOODS: Certainly.  You hear that easy, yeah.

QUENTEN: So, I just don’t think that there is anything inside that deer that we’re interested in right now.

WOODS: So, the great news is for me as a land owner and a manager is that this deer died of natural causes.  My property wasn’t violated by a poacher last night.  And this happens.  In nature, you know, Walt Disney was wrong.  Nature is tough out there.

QUENTEN: That’s right.

WOODS: Things die and this, this spike thought he was bigger than he was and he got into a fight with somebody last night.  Looks like a gore wound.  It, it punctured through the skin.  It went through the very back lobe, the small lobe of the liver.  Just one spot.  No telling where this event happened.  And when I found him this morning walking, his antlers were stuck in the dirt at a food plot like he just was running and tipped over.


WOODS: And that’s apparently what happened.  He got gored, was running away from the fight, and ran out of blood.  He bled internally.  Very little blood on the outside.  Quenten, I sure appreciate your time coming out today and solving the mystery.  You know, as a biologist, as a scientist, the number one thing I don’t want to do is assume.  Of course, on your own land, you’re walking early in the morning, you make that assumption.  “Someone killed one of my deer.”

QUENTEN: That’s right.

WOODS: You get all riled up, but you had the patience to, to work with me and we did a little necropsy.  That’s autopsy in human terms.  Necropsy in wildlife and checked it out and we’ve confirmed that this was a natural cause of death.

WOODS: (Whispering) It’s the afternoon of September 21st and it’s the first time I’ve hunted this stand this year.  First time I’ve hunted in this area since I’ve owned the property.  There’s, I scouted it the other day and I found three red oak acorn trees that are dropping.  They’re out here in front of us 20-40 yards in a little triangle.  Winds are a little swirly.  I really hate swirling wind.  The reason we’re here is Giant 10.  One of my number one deer on the Hit List I think is bedded right behind us in a, a cut area.  Or a glade, what we call a glade here in the Ozarks where the sun hits it.  It’s getting shadowy right now.  We’ve cut all the cedar trees off and it’s growing up native grass about chest tall on me.  And there’s an Eagle Seed bean soybean field up the ridge 150 yards from us.  And I think this is a staging area.  It’s pretty flat and shelf for the Ozarks.  Usually our mountains are steep down the side.  This is a little shelf so, that’s the set up.  Known bedding area behind us.  Trail camera pictures.  Trail camera pictures recent, frequent.  That’s what we like to hear – recent frequent.  Right up on top.  A big giant 10, but at dark.  He’s circling somewhere.  He’s coming somewhere through here to get there most likely.  Hey, stay tuned to GrowingDeer.  We’ll let you know how this, my third hunt of the season goes.

WOODS: (Whispering) Three years from now.  Three years from now.

WOODS: (Whispering) I’ve really enjoyed my first afternoon hunt of the 2010 season.  A couple reasons.  We saw a deer.  Always love seeing deer.  Scouting was good.  They were coming to these trees.  So, we’re off to a good start.  I hope we get to film tomorrow afternoon.  I hope you get to hunt soon.  And I hope you’re enjoying a safe season in 2010.  It’s going to be a great year.  Talk to you soon.

WOODS: Hey, it’s September 22nd and it’s swirly wind, high heat, high humidity for this time of year.  It’s not favorable hunting conditions.  If I go to our existing stands, I’m probably going to spook more deer than I’m going to see and condition deer to avoid that area for a lot of days during the season.  So, it’s best, as much as I want to hunt right now, to stay out of the woods in prime hunting time.  I’m going to go out in mid-day, like now, hang a couple of what I call M.R.I. stands – Most Recent Information.  You find that acorn tree dropping or something’s happening that’s just a limited time, you want to get in in the middle of the day when, hopefully, the deer are bedded.  Quietly, rubber boots, the whole nine yards, hang the stand and then get out of there before prime moving time again this afternoon.  M.R.I. stands can be some of your most successful stands and it’s a great thing to do with your deer hunting activities on these days that the conditions are simply not favorable to be a predator.

WOODS: Hey, thanks for watching GrowingDeer and I hope conditions are really good for hunting at your Proving Grounds.