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The Three-Legged Doe

Last year I was hunting from my blind when the doe pictured above walked in front of me about 35 yards away. At first I didn’t see that she was missing a front right leg through the phragmites. After snapping a few photos and checking my settings I saw that she only had three legs. I impatiently waited to see if she would turn the other direction so I could see her other side.

My curiosity was running rampant as I attempted to form a hypothesis on what might have happened to her. She wasn’t in any distress, and I didn’t see any signs of blood, so it must have been an old wound or perhaps hereditary. She stood quietly facing the same direction as if she was waiting for something when a pair of fawns caught up to her. They paused to look and sniff the air and on their way they went. But I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to her leg.

It’s amazing to me how resilient deer can be, but it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. Deer are survivalists by instinct and will. No matter how deep the scars, deer seem to prevail and the saying of “whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” seems to hold true for them.■

Author: Julie Geiser

Julie is a Nebraska Game and Parks Public Information Officer and Regional Editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine.

Follow her on Twitter: @NEBland_julie

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