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Thread: Leaving a whole red deer to decompose

  1. #1

    Leaving a whole red deer to decompose

    I came across a lovely red stag that had died a few days ago I'm guessing. I've never seen a red on my land before & didn't expect the first occurrence to be like this. The poor bugger was unfortunately tangled up in some rope & had clearly spent a long time trying to free itself.

    You can smell it from 20 yards away in still air but there's no significant visible sign of decay yet. Plenty of foxes/badgers/buzzards in the area, but none has found it yet. I'm open to suggestions as to what to do with it. I really don't fancy spending much time up close & personal with it. I've got winches/trailer/4x4 etc but it's not accessible where it is and if I manage to recover it then I don't know what the hell to do with it. 30 yards from a river on a steep bank.

    It's a 12 pointer so as a secondary topic I'd like to recover the antlers at some point.

    I'm more interested in practical solutions than some expensive nightmare just to satisfy some bureaucrat.
    I'm familiar with how quickly a fox takes to get spread around but this is a different beast. Literally! What are teh timescales if I do nothing?

    Advice welcomed. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by simonl; 20-12-2016 at 01:19.

  2. #2
    I used to have sole permission on a large farm that bordered a very busy highway. Every year while running a trappine I would road killed deer. I looked at them as a gift.

    First, if you want the antlers - go get them now, the carcass will not become any more pleasant to deal with as each day passes..

    Second, think about where the perfect shooting lane would sit, and a very quiet and covert access path to the shooting point. Then drag the carcass down to the spot that has a good backstop and is near cover. This will allow you to sneak into a shooting hide and observe the carcass without spooking the critters. Proximity to cover will prompt foxes and such to visit the carcass during daylight.

    The colder it is, the more desirable the carcass will become.

    And, assuming they are also native to the UK, towards the end of the carcasses decomp you can find large numbers of dermestid beetles. These are an alternative for skull cleaning if you don't want to go the boiling route.

  3. #3
    Get the antlers now, leave nature to do the rest.

  4. #4
    I once dragged a whole road kill fallow into a wood. Less than four weeks later there was next to nothing left of it.
    You can't say muntjac without saying, Mmmmmm.

  5. #5
    Leave it and use it as a bait station towards the end.

  6. #6
    Around a month after death last winter (Red deer male yearling, Isle of Wight):-
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Will take awhile but there is no law to say you must move it.

  8. #8
    If you want the antlers get them now. I once watched a fallow carcass for a while thinking I'd get the antlers once it was a little less stinky and lo and behold someone else had the same idea and took them before I did. Also even if no one else does see them and take them it'll be just your luck to find a load of critters have gnawed on them!

  9. #9
    Get the antlers as soon as you can. Lots of things gnaw on them, especially in winter.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mungo View Post
    Get the antlers as soon as you can. Lots of things gnaw on them, especially in winter.
    ...and if they don't, no amount of peroxide will get rid of the smell from the rest. Get it off, cut and boiled as soon as possible. Especially if you want to keep it indoors......

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