Life After Death and the Return of Rutger / by Matt Clysdale

I recently discovered a few doe groups that feed daily at the Riverside Cemetery, and particularly love the fact that they're nourished by the grass growing over the dead. 

I personally don't believe in an afterlife or heaven or hell, but firmly believe in the beauty and miracle of the food chain, and find solace knowing our bodies can enrich the soil and life surrounding our grave. 

The unfortunate truth is our modern burial custom sequesters the body in a concrete box, separating it from the rest of the food chain; a form of spiritual blasphemy in its own right. Or, considering the junk that goes into some of our bodies, perhaps that's a good thing. 

I don't think the deer really care.

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I haven't seen a whole lot of buck action this year, and haven't been able to devote as much time to the pursuit as I normally do, but I sat a blind I have situated in a friend's backyard in Portage and was thrilled to see the return of an old buck I simply love, Rutger. 

I met Rutger two years ago and was astonished by the size of his typical 8. I was concerned that he might have been poached last year, but he made his way into my friend's backyard and still had a grand rack, albeit a tad shorter than last year.

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Below is Rutger on Thanksgiving day, 2012, in what turned out to be my favorite buck shot of the year. You can see the huge spread and height of his rack. You can also see that he's a monarch of Portage Creek Bicentennial Trail

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I'll post a few more pics of Rutger in the future and explain the origin of his name.