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Pics and details of necropsy of a deer performed on 10/03/2002.


Blaine at work.
Click on any image below to see it larger.

I estimate 120# 6 month old buck.

Note small amount of blood around mouth. I think that this occurred at the original accident.

Very little cloudiness to the eyes indicating very recent death.

Note the antler nub which indicates this buck is about 6 months old.

Blood which I believe happened at the original accident. There was no blood inside of the mouth.

As you can see, it is definitely a buck.

A very small amount of reddish body fluid (perhaps blood and perhaps not) around the anus.

Lots of small intestines and some large intestines falling out.

Unfortunately my photographer went AWOL right after this shot. That's why there are no pictures of most of the organs in situ. We have no pics of the multiple large stomachs at all.

Lungs. They had dried out a lot while the photographer was away. They were put in water for a half a minute before this pic was taken.

Liver. Huge. 2 liter in volume. It is dried out pretty badly at this point.

DETAILS This deer was killed at about 9 a.m. on 10/03/2002. I come to that conclusion because I came upon the body at about 10:00 a.m. and (a) there were no insects at all upon the carcass (even on the blood about the mouth), and (b) the eyes were open and showed no cloudiness at all (see The Crime Library's article about time of death indicators). (The rate of clouding of the eyes could be very different in deer than in humans. However, it was 80 degrees out, and flies should definitely not have taken hours to find the body. The flies found the body within one hour once I got it home). There was also rigor mortis in the extremities at 10:00 a.m.

LIMITATIONS. I wanted to weigh the carcass and weigh some of the internal organs, but, unfortunately, my small scale can only weigh up to a pound or to; and my bathroom scale could not weigh me and the carcass together, nor was it accurate enough to weigh individual organs. I did measure the volume of some internal organs (by fluid displacement). I very much wanted to examine the skull, but I don't know where my hack saw is, and I needed to wrap up the necropsy since I had other responsibilities to take care of. I also would have liked to have taken some of the meat to cook up, but since the carcass had been out for several hours by the time I finished, I thought better of that (with the result that the decomposition subject will be an entire deer). Deer died at about 9 a.m.

CONDITIONS. Deer died at about 9 a.m. I came across it at about 10 a.m., put a plastic bag over the head and carried it home. (As noted above, there were no insects on it. I could feel warmth in the thorax and abdomin as I carried to my car across my back. It was between 80 and 90 degrees during the necropsy. I began the autopsy at about 11:30 a.m. (I had to let the carcass sit for that time because I needed to take care of some stuff for work [since I was going to take the mid-day off], and I had to prepare camera, tools, etc.

IDENTIFICATION. It's a deer of some kind. There were only six teeth, all mandibular (lower) incisors, so it was definitely immature. The teeth layout completely contradicted what it says on the Whitetails anatomy page. Judging by the size of about 120# and the antler stubs on the head, the deer must have been about six months old. Male (A button buck). The only evidence of cause of death was the small amount of fluid around the mouth and anus, and a very badly broken right rear leg (which completely broke the bones around the knee but did not break the skin). Rigor mortis in the legs. 37" from hoff to top of head. 41" from anus to nose.

The necropys was pretty straight forward. I avoided puncturing the bladder or any musk gland. Some of the intestines are still quite stinky, but considering that the material inside begins as pyuke and finishes as crap, what could you expect. After the necropsy I dug a hole about 2 feet deep, put the deer in it and dumped the internal organs which I removed into there. (I.e., the hole contains the entire deer-- some of the parts are just not arranged in normal fashion).

There's a pretty skimpy page on deer anatomy here.

TODO: Get page from basement and find the page that Morgan took and transcribe the info to here.

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