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Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby rlown » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:03 pm

Some of the deer were still alive. Most probably just with broken legs. With the cold weather they were totally harvestable.

And Balzaccom, look at the signs. They are white tail deer on the signs. CalTrans can't even get that right. (real reason is those are known migration paths)



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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby SSSdave » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:32 pm

Found this link:

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/vie ... ntext=wnan

Of course last winter was huge so there was also likely a snow field below the pass that by October had become glare ice. Found the same condition going down Lamarck Col one late summer.
snippet:


Jones (1954) described a situation near
Bishop Pass, Inyo County, California, in which
≥26 mule deer lost their footing and slid down
a snow-covered ice field to their deaths.
Bishop Pass (elevation 3680 m) is a primary
migration route used annually by mule deer
that spend summers west of the Sierra Crest
and winters east of the crest in Round Valley
(Kucera 1992), Inyo and Mono counties, a
major deer winter range typical of the western
Great Basin (Pierce et al. in press). On 25
November 1995 we received a report of
“numerous dead deer” just below Bishop Pass,
Inyo County. Upon investigation, we discov-
ered the remains of 16 recently dead mule
deer (12 males, 4 females) and observed 1
injured female in the same location described
by Jones (1954). The carcasses were on a talus
slope at the bottom of a steep, ice-covered
hillside (Fig. 1). The deer apparently lost their
footing on the ice, which had repeatedly
thawed and frozen in the summer sun, and
slid to their deaths on the sharp rocks below.
Based on differential levels of scavenging, it
appeared that the dead animals were from
≥2groups.

Jones (1954) speculated that fresh snow,
which can mask glare ice, contributed to the
mortalities he reported; no fresh snow had
fallen prior to discovery of the deer carcasses
during 1995. Snow, which is transformed to
ice by frequent thawing and freezing, occa-
sionally lasts through autumn at high elevations
( Jones 1954), and such would be expected
following winters of heavy snowfall.
... suggesting that
accidental deaths of migrating deer may occur
at Bishop Pass with some regularity.
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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby rlown » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:50 pm

Nice historical find, Dave.
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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby gary c. » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:37 am

Seems a shame but it has no doubt always been this way.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby balzaccom » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:39 am

(real reason is those are known migration paths) rlown....

Gosh, I thought the deer could read---or at least understand pictures. What is this world coming to? That's the problem with our public schools today--they don't teach deer! :^)_
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby kpeter » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:29 am

gary c. wrote:Seems a shame but it has no doubt always been this way.


Well, that's what I initially thought, but now I wonder a bit. It just seems odd to me that deer would naturally go over passes that high. How did the herd get started on this migration in the first place? To what extent do the deer follow the human engineered path part way? Did they do this migration before the path was built?

I'm also interested in the mass death. It can't be that the entire herd slipped simultaneously. Those who came later must not have been able to understand that those who went first had perished.

And also--did ANY make it across safely? Is the herd completely wiped out, or did some survive?

An interesting research project for someone.
Last edited by kpeter on Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby rlown » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:32 am

The deer were there before the humans were there.
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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby kpeter » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:35 am

Sure they were, but not necessarily taking that migratory path. Maybe they were.
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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby Hobbes » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:39 am

Ah, so now we are getting to the chicken & egg question of what came first. Do deer follow engineered trails or did the original trail blazers follow deer/game trails?

Consider anytime I head up an east side trail, I wonder how the first prospector and/or shepherd leading a mule knew how/were to ascend, other than just follow the creek. Frankly, it seems kind of impossible; and yet we know they did it.

The stories/explanations I've heard is they followed native American transit paths, who had in turn had been following game trails since pre-history.
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Re: Deer Herd Fall To Their Death At Bishop Pass

Postby rlown » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:43 am

kpeter wrote:
I'm also interested in the mass death. It can't be that the entire herd slipped simultaneously. Those who came later must not have been able to understand that those who went first had perished.

And also--did ANY make it across safely? Is the herd completely wiped out, or did some survive?


Deer are creatures of habit. They don't watch who is in front walking their path to see if they died; that is more of a human trait. All they really know is "during this season I go that way" and they just go.
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