Friday, December 26, 2014

#13 - Red Wolves - Moving North - Evidence in MD

A macabre Christmas - but sooo interesting. I'm up hear in Fredrick, MD at our family farm. During the day discussion about the massive population explosion of deer in the area - of increased car wrecks, a record high limit of 30 deer to be "taken" by a hunter in a single year! and the statement by my Uncle Dave - that you couldn't hardly back out of your garage without hitting a deer got me thinking. It actually revived a memory of North Carolina having almost exactly the same experience in 2009 & 2010. Dead deer all along the side of the road - the country citizens complaining about unusually numbers being seen... Got me thinking alright - what would drive the deer out of the deep woods onto the "safer" locations of public land? Why would the 'sex drive' of deer suddenly (as it was acquitted)be driving them in mad dashes into our streets and highways? Last time I was up for Thanks Giving 2014 - I had the good fortune to be awake and on the front porch at 2AM. That is when I heard the reason for why the whole community of local dogs was in an uproar earlier that night. A fight was brewing between the local Coyotes and the new intruding Red Wolves. The pack of Coyotes has a distinct set of yips and cries - sounds I grew up hearing in the Sonora, Mojavean and Southwestern Deserts. The cry of the two wolves was/is very distinct from that of Coyotes... BTW The distance from where Red Wolves are being released and Fredrick is 360 miles - with Wolf releases now going on 5+ years. The first signs of possible predation were this deer skull and rib cage - the ribs were gnawed at there ends. This could easily have been Coyotes picking apart the carcass of a deer killed by hunters however.
However, I had seen two patches of deer fur - mostly the white hind-end fir and the underbelly in White Tailed Deer species. The patches of fur were about dinner sized plates and had no skin or blood - so whatever pulled it free hadn't gotten a good grip. As I reached the path down to the train track I noticed a body shaped shadow up the tracks - the deer hadn't gotten very far:
The first thing I noticed was that the animal had been eaten from the rear - this is a classical kill style for the Red Wolf. Often leaving the animal alive for extended periods (eating it alive - eek!). The second thing is that one of the hind legs was stripped to the bone - making sure that the animal could not escape the location. Now this is a full grown deer - a yearling but full grown. Not something that would be taken down by Coyotes. Thus the possibilities are - Hunter, Train or Wolf. The neck was unbroken and no bullet hole was discoverable - plus the way the deer's hide was stripped from the leg is identical to the kill found in North Carolina. Deer hide is very strong - in my opinion - nothing but the 1500 lbs per square inch of a wolf's jaw could so easily strip the leg to the bone. Naturally I got my cousins second opinion - he verified that there was no bullet wound. Now notice the wound on the animals front right leg:
The dark triangle at the cent of the wound is the exact location where a large canine tooth could be hooked between ten-dent and bone - effectively stopping escape. I the bush - not far from the kill lay another pick of forensic evidence - a tuft of fur - this time with a strip of deer hide still attached. The chase which had started up near the two patch's of fur (hair really) - had led down to this point where the wolfs had gotten a better hold:
This morning - December 26th more of the kill was eaten and another bone stripped:
General attitude of the politically correct on wolfs - 'just get along with them?! Soo happy together!' (The Wolf is the Mascot of the group which blew up our Three Buildings on 9/11) - 'Just get along with them!' - duh/nope!

1 comment:

  1. You did say "Maryland," that you were visiting Maryland when this occurred? It's difficult for me to understand why someone, like you, obviously having abundant curiosity about animals and the outdoors, would claim that a red wolf killed your deer. I know of no one--biologist, ranger, or just good old country boy woodsman--who would claim that there are any red wolves anywhere near Frederick, or Northern Virginia, not even the Washington-Jefferson National Forest. There may be a tiny number in northeastern North Carolina and the Dismal Swamp, but even that's questionable. My father-in-law, an old-time hunter who hunted till his death at 82, and who was born and raised in the bayou country of south Arkansas and north Louisiana, had seen his last red wolf in the 60s (this was one of the last bastions of red wolves). They are going or gone. We have to face it. And they're certainly not anywhere near Frederick, Maryland. (This is to say nothing of the highly valid debate over whether there even is such a thing. Most canid biologists now acknowledge that the red wolf was a hybrid of some sort.