Deer strike presents opportunity

Left to right: Tisbury animal control officer Laurie Clements, MassDOT supervisor Stacy Zanni, and good Samaritan Matthew Parker prepare to heave a dead buck into a pickup on State Road in Tisbury. - Rich Saltzberg

A dead buck on the side of State Road adjacent to Kingsbury Fields went from chore to score when Island Housing Trust director Philippe Jordi rolled up on the cleanup effort.

Tisbury animal control officer Laurie Clements and MassDOT supervisor Stacy Zanni were in the process of heaving the carcass into Zanni’s state pickup with the help of good Samaritan Matthew Parker when Jordi pulled his pickup over and asked if he could take the animal. Clements informed him it was “frozen stiff” but Jordi was undeterred, so they loaded the buck into the bed of his pickup instead of Zanni’s. Clements initially responded to a call about a cat strike but after spotting Zanni’s truck on the side of the road, she wound up helping with the buck.

Upon reviewing images of the deer, Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society president Brian Athearn estimated it was about 110 to 120 pounds once dressed. Of that weight, 40 percent should be meat, he said. Jordi is on the Dukes County Communications Center deer recovery call list, Clements said, but he happened on this buck by chance.

As The Times reported in January, the call center fielded 224 deer strike reports last year.  Tisbury Police found no reports of a strike in their recent logs, but police said motorists don’t always inform the department of strikes and sometimes report them late, after pressured by their insurance companies.  

The call list has been a fruitful resource, Jordi later told The Times.

“However long I’ve lived here — 20 years — I’ve pretty consistently gotten one a year or more that way,” he said.

The buck is the first Jordi has collected this year and ranks among the largest he’s ever recovered, he said. He anticipates butchering it next week. It’s currently in his shed ready to be dressed and hung, he said.

Jordi keeps the meat for his family’s consumption.