Winter is a tough time for deer. A biologist friend of mine once told me the winter is the number one factor that determines deer survival and population levels. I have no idea what claimed this buck (but I would bet it was a cougar) but I do know that coyotes benefited. Probably a few birds did as well.
Found this scene today as I hiked across the grasslands of a ranch near Kamloops. hoping to find some deer, perhaps a coyote or a fox, or maybe some hawks or owls. No living creatures were seen, however. It was a pretty cold day.