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#52457 - 11/19/17 04:03 PM Massive deer kill
Bob West Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
This Fall a very grim discovery was made at Bishop Pass. So far about 68 dead deer (and counting) have been found near the switchbacks on the Bishop side of the pass. Pictures here (which were taken before the recent storm):

There are some theories as to why this happened, but it looks like since their usual pre-winter migration path over Bishop Pass still has snow, the deer were trying a route unfamiliar to them and were falling in the large icy talus field to the left of the hiking trail.

Shepard Pass also has a large number of dead deer in a talus field.

Every Fall the high country deer migrate to their winter ranges in the Owens Valley. The Bishop Pass animals were probably trying to get to their winter range in Round Valley, north of Bishop. Very sad, indeed.

Edited by Bob West (11/19/17 04:08 PM)

#52460 - 11/21/17 07:11 AM Re: Massive deer kill [Re: Bob West]
Bob West Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Deer are creatures of habit and were following their usual descent routes over the Eastern Sierra passes, and fell on steep, iced-up snow slopes into the boulder fields. So far this year (as of 11/20/2007), at least 120 dead deer, killed in this way, have been located. Apparently, this was not an unusual occurrence, and has happened after other heavy snow years. Compared with the thousands of deer that safely make their migration, this is a relatively small number of deaths, but still tragic.

If even sure-footed deer die descending steep snow and ice, what about humans? It's ought to be a reminder to all of us to use caution on Whitney and elsewhere in the mountains.

Edited by Bob West (11/21/17 07:12 AM)

#52462 - 11/21/17 11:11 AM Re: Massive deer kill [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7645
Loc: Fresno, CA
Wow! Unfortunate.

Sure glad we have crampons and not deer hooves fir walking on ice!