It's a crime for which no one has ever been charged in Albemarle County: dumping deer carcasses on the side of the road. Even the seven deposited on Reservoir Road in late December.
"You have to be there when they throw them out," explains Albemarle Game Warden Steve Ferguson.
Nor is the dumping of deer on rural roads that unusual. "They're usually cleaned. People take what they want and dump the rest," says Ferguson. "The sad thing is people who don't hunt see these, and it paints hunters in a bad light."
Tony Winter says he was "horrified" when he first spied the pile of carcasses during an otherwise bucolic drive down Reservoir Road. He encountered the carnage as turkey vultures flew away from the side of this road that leads to Camp Holiday Trail and the Ragged Mountain Natural Area. "It was like the killing fields," says Winter.
As disgusting as the sight is, nature will take its course in disposing of the remains. Along with the vultures, possums, foxes and raccoons join in the feast on their fellow wildlife, explains Ferguson. "It usually doesn't take long."
Roadside distraction on Reservoir.
PHOTO BY JEANNE NICHOLSON SILER