Thursday, August 06, 2009

Buzzards and Stench

In another case to prove you just never know what's going to happen to you on any given day—I was sitting here on my couch this morning, having a second cup of coffee and watching an Andy Hardy movie, when my phone rang.

Small Town Newspaper's news editor called to see if I could handle a story today, and I was on it like flies on a dead deer—a rotting, stinking gut-shot deer with no remaining eye balls and bones protruding from gaping holes.

I give you that graphic description because that basically describes the story I had to cover. I can't go into detail at the moment because of a pending investigation, but this story had me out in the country side with a bunch of farmers. They were gentlemen, every one, and they sat with me in a barn and told me their gripe with a neighbor over some deer that have been shot to prevent crop damage, and the carcasses were left to rot on their property.

One of them invited me to hop on his ATV, and we rode out into a field so I could see the evidence. I saw two rotting bucks—did you know that buzzards will eat the stuff that covers deer antlers? Buzzards will eat just about anything, and they were every where, circling over head, fleeing from trees when I got too close, perching on a power line structure and waiting for us to leave so they could get back to scavenging. Click on the picture above to get a better view.

I didn't notice the smell at first, but the wind shifted just slightly, and I had to cover my nose. Just when I thought it was safe to breath openly, it shifted again, and I used my reporting notebook to cover my face. I really didn't act like a fool, though, and managed to maintain dignity and professionalism in the midst of the carcasses and the hungry buzzards and the flies. Oh so many flies.

I don't know how this story will turn out and won't know for a few days, but I'll make sure I link to it when it appears, assuming it does appear. And by then, if you ask nicely, I may even post a photo of the festering remains of the bucks including gun-shot holes and gaping jaw bones. Life, and death, can be so harsh.

UPDATE: as promised, here is a link to the story.

7 comments:

savannah said...

holey moley, sugar! i thought we were so deep in nature with TWO buzzards and there y'all are with a tower full! xoxoxo

kyle@sift said...

This disgusts me. I understand the importasnce of protecting the crop but couldn't the assasin at least utilized the deer for himself or the hungry? How sad. I am sorry you had to see such brutality. I know you will tell the story with compassion and honesty.

kyle@sift said...

Sorry about my bad typos. Fueled by my disgust, I imagine.

dive said...

Why does that make me feel hungry?

Hee hee, Sorry, Robyn. What a gross-out story.
Ah, the life of an investigative reporter.

Shazza said...

Wow...you really did include the pictures of the bullet holes? Yikes!

Happy bloggety birthday to you!!!

neetzy said...

Okay. Okay! I kinda like buzzards. We have lots around here in PA. When I lived in Cleveland, the local rock station hosted a buzzard day every year. I forget the name of the town they returned to every year. I worked in the same building where the Michael Stanley Band recorded! I can't remember the call letters of the station.

Scout said...

Neetzy, the town they return to every year is Hinkley. It's a big deal, apparently.

Shazza,thanks for the birthday wish!

Dive, the gross-out effect is nothing compared to actually being there.

Kyle, you'd think they would have chosen to use them in some way, don't you?

Savannah, we're in their migration path. Lovely.