Buffalo County was one of the last strongholds for bison in western Wisconsin. These days my neighborhood is over-run with white-tailed deer, making driving after dark a challenge.
Last month, a 4-point buck got hit right in front of my house.
I pulled it off the road to keep the birds feeding on the road-kill from becoming road-kill too. I had planned to pull it all the way to my front yard and watch the birds and coyotes devour it. But it was so heavy, I was only able to pull it into the ditch along side the road.
By the time I got back outdoors with a wheelbarrow, the dead deer was gone. The County roadkill removal contractor is very efficient.
Then I thought - maybe I could get him to drop off a deer down the road at the Maxville Alternative High School, so the students could observe winter scavengers
A couple of months ago, I talked with teachers at the Maxville Alternative High School about using the Lower Chippewa Natural Area - the largest intact floodplain forest in the upper midwest - as the integrating context for learning. It's right outside their back door - and across the street from my house.
I set up a bird feeding station (sunflower, nyjer and suet) outside their classroom window a couple of weeks ago, and asked DNR Biologist Kris Johansen, if he could help us get a deer carcass. He said he'd try.
While I was out of town on Thursday, DNR Warden Bill Wrasse delivered a skinned deer and the students strung it up from the swings.
I stopped by today to check it out.
I was amazed to see the chickadees were all over it - juncos too!
It will be interesting to see who else stops by.