One fine summer morning I took a drive to the post office. It was a beautiful day and I felt fantastic. As usual, I kept my eyes peeled for roadkill deer along the way- however as I turned onto the highway and began my journey, I realized I had no blade in the car with me. I laughed to myself- “Watch me find one of the biggest deer I’ve ever seen and have no way to cut it up to load it… That’s okay! I feel great today! There is no deer I can’t heave into the back of the truck! …Watch me find an elk instead, though…“
I delivered my packages and headed home. Barely a mile before my turn off the highway I spot a deer 20 or 30 feet off the shoulder. It looked pretty big. I laughed at the irony.
Indeed the deer was huge, maybe in the top 5 biggest deer I’ve picked up. Nice and fresh, too! I braced myself for the task ahead, but to my misfortune, this deer was pulverized. Its skin was unbroken, but it’s spine had been shattered and it had no more abdominal constitution. It was basically a giant furry sock full of deer pudding. If I picked up one end, all the weight sloshed down to the other. This is not very conducive to lifting 200lbs into the bed of a truck. 200 floppy, saggy, unruly pounds… To make matters worse, the topper was on the truck. I didn’t include that in the animation because my attention and patience for illustrating it was limited. But in reality I couldn’t stand up straight beneath the topper, so trying to pull a 200lb water balloon into the bed whilst bent over was even more frustrating. At one point I stopped trying and tore through the inside of the truck, looking for anything that could be used as a blade- Any scrap of metal I could chisel or sharpen enough to cut some weight off the deer. But I found nothing. Which is highly unusual for me, I’ve always got a knife in the car!
And so I had to resign to using ratchet straps (minus the ratchet part which was also not in the truck at the time?) to secure the deer. Every inch I could get it draped over the tail gate was one less inch dragging on the road. It tied a spider web of cords around the antlers, hooves, and neck until I was certain it was as secure as I could make it. I was only about a mile from my turn off the highway and I wasn’t sure if what I was about to do was legal or not. With both nervousness and intense amusement, I hopped back in the truck and started my slow crawl down the shoulder of the highway, dragging my bag of deer pudding behind me.
As I creept down the highway, noting the dark streaks and hair left in my wake, a veritable caravan of cars passed me. They were piled up behind a huge bus that was putting far too slowly down the highway. At least 20 cars passed me slowly as they followed the congesting bus. I busted up laughing- what must they be thinking?! My main worry was that, due to the size of the antlers, someone would think I poached this deer and was wasting the meat by dragging it home. To me it was obviously not the case, as no normal deer was flexible enough to be doing the yoga pose I had this buck tied in, but I know a lot of folks wouldn’t be noticing that particular detail of the spectacle.
Here’s my silly and light-hearted animated comic about the event:
(animation size: 11mb~, 1.5 minutes long- contains no explicit or pointedly graphic content)
The slow creep to my turn off was uneventful and I was grateful to be off the highway. The journey continued beyond the end of the comic. It’s a tale I find quite humorous but I wasn’t sure some folks would appreciate a full visual coverage of. The buck dragged without event down the side roads and I began to feel confident that the next 8 miles home would pass easily and I would get the deer home without complaint. I had him tied up in such a way that one of his front legs stuck straight up, like he was hailing me. I kept an eye on that upright hoof and the antler tips as I drove. Bit by bit they were sagging lower and lower. I was mostly concerned that the deer would sag in such a way that the whole thing was dragging behind me- if it didn’t just come untied and fall off altogether!
As I suspected, the dirt road was also wearing on the deer’s skin. Within 2 miles I looked back to see a big red liver in the road. Noooooo! This deer was dog food, and surely I wasn’t about to leave the liver behind! I stopped and grabbed the liver and threw it in the bed beside the deer. On any normal deer that would not have happened, but this poor sack of pudding had everything floating in the wrong place…
A hole had begun to wear in the abdomen where it was dragging. I wondered now if the deer would make it home or not…
Within another mile I noticed the dark streaks behind the truck becoming more pronounced. Suddenly, what looked like a chunk of meat tumbled across the road behind me. I stopped again and investigated. The dirt road had chewed the skin off the rear haunch and had begun grinding portions of meat off. I picked up a few golf-ball-sized meat bits and threw them in the truck. Then I crawled in and gave the deer and experimental tug. Yes! The deer had lost just enough weight- I could finally pull it up into the bed! I gave it the last strong heaves that my back would allow and wrestled the deer into the bed. I gleaned the last of the meat chunks from the road and pondered what the locals might think when they notice 2 miles of dark smears down the dirt road that end abruptly…
Happy to know that the deer would make it home with me, I continued on my way. Naturally the dogs were delighted by the surprise feast that I brought them!