More weird tales from Wisconsin

OK, this fellow in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin saw a strange-looking deer: it had the stubs of extra legs growing out of 3 of its limbs, and it was an intersex. That’s strange enough, and is of developmental interest, and would have me wondering what kind of environmental stresses are perturbing wildlife development in that neck of the woods.

The fellow hit the deer with his truck and killed it, and reported it to the DNR. So it’s actually road kill, a very common thing.

Now here’s where I get baffled: the man ate it afterwards.

“And by the way, I did eat it,” Lisko said. “It was tasty.”

Jebus. Wisconsin. At least he didn’t have sex with it first, I don’t think.


  1. Matt says

    From the photo I’m not actually surprised that he’d eat a mutant deer. I am a bit surprised he didn’t try to have sex with it, though.

  2. Markk says

    What – you mean more of them funny Minnesota deer have made it across the border? Mississippi river must be frozen again.

    Tim Cahill has a great story in one of his books about snowmobiling around on Lake Winnebago, stopping at bars and drinking beers with live minnows in them, so eating a mutant deer would be nothing around Fond du Lac, after the folks come in from spearing sturgeon…

  3. says

    Lisko, who bow hunts, said he had seen the deer before, but never realized it had extra appendages.

    “We just thought it had swollen metatarsal glands,” he said.

    Don’t be too quick to judge us rural Wisconsin folk. Sure, I got the hell out of my hometown of 1,000 people in northern Wisconsin as fast as I could, but people like Mr. Lisko here just never find a reason to leave, so they don’t.

    I’m not saying he’s not completely crazy, but as we Pharyngula readers should know by now, most people are, and for a lot of different reasons.

  4. jba says


    The best reason I can think of (other than ‘dont eat mutants’) is we might have learned something from some study of it. Who knows what? Maybe nothing. But you can get regular deer pretty easy, at least compared to something like that. And now its an opportunity lost. Not that Im going to lose any sleep over it.

  5. says

    Yeah, I’d eat it too. I mean, assuming I ate deer in the first place — I have once, I think, but it’s not a habit. And if the deer is so weird that someone wants to study it, maybe they’d want it intact, but then again, maybe they could get by with just the lower legs and genitals, which I’m pretty sure aren’t normally eaten anyway.

    But the point is, I would not by default assume that stuff like this makes a deer unsafe to eat. And if I can eat members of really weird species like squid (sorry!), I can certainly eat weird members of mundane species like deer.

  6. lytefoot says

    I feel the need to leap to the defense of my fellow Wisconsinites.

    Nothing wrong with eating fresh roadkill, especially in a month with an R in it. (Hey, I’m from Wisconsin. We know the rules. Though, given global warming, we might need a new one already.) The big problems with eating roadkill are freshness and polution; neither an issue if you just ran the thing over and you know your driveway’s decently clean.

    I’m quite sure, furthermore, that the decision to eat the deer came out of a profound respect for life–and I say that unironically. If you run a deer over, you’ve killed it; so that it didn’t die for nothing, you eat it, and don’t kill another deer. It’s an ethical viewpoint common to many rural hunters I know, that it’s wrong to kill an animal if you don’t intend to eat it. It’s a subtle point that I’m sure a lot of urban people (including urban people who hunt) don’t truly understand.

    Not that the whole idea isn’t a little icky.

  7. lytefoot says

    (Last sentence is a little hazy…) Eating roadkill mutants that is… on the other hand, the whole idea of eating animals is a little icky when you get into the viscera of it.

  8. Sarcastro says

    Why odd that he’d eat it? Because it was a mutant or because it was road-kill?

    A buddy of mine is a ranger and he gets road-kill venison all the time from the park. Makes good barbecue. Doesn’t taste a lick different than the stuff he confiscates from poachers or spotlights during population control hunts.

  9. says

    Unless you live on air, you eat mutants all the time…

    As for preserving a rare phenotype, depending on the intensity of the crash roadkill just may not look very impressive in formalin. :)

  10. says

    Hailing from rural Michigan, I can back up Lytefoot’s comment. If you hit a deer, and it’s still edible, the decent thing to do it dress it out and eat it. Otherwise it’s good food gone to waste. Up in northern Michigan, you used to be able to donate the meat if you didn’t eat venison yourself. I don’t know if they can still do that, though.

  11. says

    Neither the mutant part or the roadkill part squicks me: it’s the possibility that there was a teratogenic cause for this problem, and the guy doesn’t know. Of course, that also means I’d be reluctant to eat normal looking deer from that area — who knows what that buck’s momma was soaking in?

  12. says

    Meh… Here in Wisconsin, we’ll pretty much eat anything with fur if it moves slow enough.

    Of course, now I’m wondering if this Fon du Lac man will be imbued with mutant deer powers. Chances are, come spring, he’ll dash out onto I-41 for no good reason and wind up French kissing a speeding Freightliner.

  13. David Wilford says

    One of my former co-workers in Eau Claire, Wisconsin told me about the time he found a deer that had just been hit by a car, flipped and had its neck broken. No bruises or anything else on the body though. As he reached with his finger to wipe a tear from his eye, he said “It was beautiful” before he said he’d strung it up and gutted it, having a permit to pick up roadkill himself.

  14. George says

    Would a buck run under a truck?

    Lisko had slowed down as a buck and two does ran across the driveway.

    “All of a sudden we felt the truck stop,” he said.

    The small buck had run underneath his truck, Lisko said.

  15. Great White Wonder says

    One word: superpowers.

    You folks won’t be laughing when Deerman comes leaping out of the woods to rescue a bunch of kids from a burning Wisconsin orphanage.

    Of course, his “secret identity” won’t be so secret now that he told everyone about eating the mutant deer.

  16. says

    Whoa… I misspelled Fond du Lac. And, I used to live in Oshkosh.

    Hmmm… I guess I shouldn’t have eaten that squirrel that one time. But, for the record, it was either him or me, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to have my spot on the food chain challenged by some louse-ridden rodent.

  17. says

    I say he’s lucky he killed it.
    I read an article years ago, where some guy hit a deer. He got outta the car, it got up & looked at him, & beat the shit out of him.
    & the metatarsus is a set of bones, not glands, BTW.

  18. Erasmus says

    K.A. you are technically but there are glands on the male hind tibia that are commonly called metatarsal scent glands by hunters.

  19. says

    Interesting. Went on, & didn’t see any mention of glands anywhere. Further investigation shows that you are correct.
    Thanks. I don’t hunt Bambi, so I didn’t know that. Learn somethin’ every day.

  20. Ichthyic says

    you’re both right.

    they are called metatarsal scent glands because they are located near the metatarsal bones.

  21. beccarii says

    Perhaps the deer was an evolutionary step toward Sleipnir:

  22. Sleipnir orgami does exist – just the thing for whiling away the long northern winters…