Deer Leg Bones

I will start off by mentioning that I’m very inexperienced, haven’t really had resources to learn, so I’m just going to try asking here.

Last fall I drove by a roadkill deer, and had been anticipating the opportunity to pick one up for salvageable food and bones. So I stopped, but realized I couldn’t lift the deer on my own, it was pouring rain, and I didn’t really want to attract too much attention (busy highway) especially from cops, since I’m not actually sure if this is legal in Indiana. So I ended up cutting off one of the front legs, threw it in a trash bag, took it home and skinned it, removed the meat, threw the meat in the freezer, and then had to decide what to do with the remaining leg bone. My parents have a huge compost pile in the backyard, so I threw it in there, thinking that maybe the beetles and scavengers would come and strip it.

So it’s been in there for a while, and now that I’ve finally remembered, I went out to go digging for it. It’s late now, so I’ll try again in the morning.

Anyhow, the question out of all of this is: will scavengers completely strip the bones or will I have to boil them as well? I’m imagining that I may have to boil them even if the remaining skin is gone, especially if there’s remaining cartilage. I’d like to eventually make tools from them, but in order that to work I need to find them, and get them clean (bare bone). So I’ll update tomorrow on what I find.

Thanks in advance for any help! :smiley:

I’ll usually just cut the meat off of them and then cook them in a pot till the rest falls off. You can then lay them in the sun to “sun bleach” them. How did it look this morning? I haven’t done much composting of bones but I have buried skulls before.

and don’t forget to save the sinew!

Yep, I saved the sinew and dried it along with the meat when I made jerky in the winter. I still have the sinew somewhere.

The compost pile my parents have (the one I buried it in) is huge, more like a compost mountain. I spent quite a bit of time digging around in the area I remembered burying it, but didn’t find anything. So I asked if my parents were planning to use the compost for anything soon, they said they wanted to spread it over the bare parts of the ground in the backyard. We have a lot of trees, I guess the topsoil in some areas is so bad that it’s basically dust, so they were going to lay nice black compost over that, hoping that it would encourage some plants to grow eventually. I offered to do it, so that I might find the bones when half of the pile has been used. So, long story short, I haven’t found them yet. It might actually be a while before I do, since this summer I’m not always living at their house. I’m wondering if an animal dug them up, but they would have to be pretty big, like a dog, to drag away a deer leg… Maybe next time I’ll bury them in the ground instead of a rotting pile of leaves, grass, and coffee grounds :smiley:

So anyway, finding those bones is gonna take some time and patience

Well it’s been a while since I started this post, still haven’t found the leg yet (sorry deer :frowning: )

So either it’s been carried off by an animal or it’s still hidden. Haha, next time I’ll bury bones in the actual ground, not a compost pile.