Tuesday morning I went out the back door to get the paper and there were some big feline tracks. My size 13 boot is on the right. (these 1st 3 pictures were all taken the day after the attack so the evidence is a little fuzzy.)
Later that morning we found a flattened deer at the bottom of the ditch behind the house. In the summer, the ditch looks like an English trout stream and it is full of trout. But it's drained in the winter and the deer use it as a highway.
The victim looked like it had been flattened by a 500 lb. eagle.
Indeed a bald eagle showed up the next morning to help the magpies, bobcat, and fox clean up the leftovers. But he was a long ways short of 500 lbs. and he swore he was not the perp. No way he could knock over a full grown deer.
Our rancher neighbors say, no question, it was a mountain lion. Joe Axtell, whose ranch is next door, lost 35 sheep to a mountain lion two winters ago. The mountain lion didn't eat the sheep, he just killed them for fun. Joe and his neighbor, rancher Dan McReynolds, hunted it down and shot it. They had it stuffed and it now stands in McReynold's living room.