Lessons learned after a sad sight on the river

Print Article

A wounded deer is fed on by a magpie.

Imagine being hit by a car. Imagine that you have a gaping wound in your back leg, but you still manage to make it off the road and down to the Flathead River, where you get a drink and rest.

But then the birds come and begin to feed on your wound as you lay out in the open. Magpies and ravens carry away your flesh and feed on it in the trees.

So you plunge into the frigid water and with your arms, swim a 100 yards to a sandbar in the middle of the river.

But the birds are relentless. They sit on your back and feed on you.

The life is leaving you.

But with one last great push you drag yourself to deeper water, where you can swim with your arms only and make it the rest of the way across the river.

But once at shore, youíre done, spent. All you can do is blink.

And the birds? For them, itís a better opportunity. Now youíre completely exposed.

If this sounds like a nightmare, it is. This was the story of a young buck whitetail last week. A reader called to say they saw it in the river and the birds were feeding on it and it was still alive. I went down to see and then called police, asking them to take the deer out of its misery.

When I arrived the deer,a young buck in what should have been the prime of its life, was in the middle of the Flathead River, its back legs broken and the birds were feeding on it, even as it struggled. Still, it did manage to swim the rest of the river where it came to rest on the shore.

Police dispatched it.

The realities of this modern life is that many creatures die on roadways. I accidentally hit a deer just the other day. Probably my fault. I was talking on the phone and didnít see it.

The deer died. The car was ruined. A lesson learned. Put down the phone and keep it down.

But phones aside, collisions are sometimes inevitable. Our roads and our cars all have an impact on wildlife. A languishing deer last week is just one story in hundreds of stories that play out each year on our highways.

Weíve roaded just about every nook and cranny of the Lower 48. Even the deepest parts of the Bob Marshall are only 25 miles or so from the nearest road, if that. So Iíve come to appreciate Montanaís open spaces more than ever.

But this is not a rail against roads. But is a plea to slow down just a bit, put down the phone and keep your eyes open for our four-legged friends.

Chris Peterson is the editor of the Hungry Horse News.

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

With bear season, make sure your after the right bear

April 17, 2019 at 7:27 am | Hungry Horse News Montanaís spring black bear hunting season opened April 15 and itís important for hunters to refresh themselves on tips for identifying the difference between black bears and grizzly bears, Montana F...

Comments

Read More

Proposed legislation would fund land and water conservation

April 17, 2019 at 7:06 am | Lake County Leader Legislation has been introduced in Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act would create dedicated funding for the con...

Comments

Read More

Fishing pre-runoff takes patience

April 17, 2019 at 7:03 am | Lake County Leader The race is on! In this race, some people have already started, everything is dependent on the weather, and you donít even know how long the race will last! Matter of fact, by the time you get read...

Comments

Read More

Beaver Lake efforts a rare aquatic invasive species success story

April 17, 2019 at 7:01 am | Hungry Horse News Efforts to eradicate an aquatic invasive species from Beaver Lake continue to be successful in a way that is rare. Last summer no plants of Eurasian watermilfoil were found in the lake following a ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2019 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X