I was reviewing some other photos that I took of the deer on Sunday morning. I think this photo tells the tale quite well and explains how the deer broke his right front leg and ended up where he did - I have written my speculation onto the photo. The ice on the east side of the lake (bottom of photo) had been forming for several days, and is relatively thick. However, the rest of the lake was open, perhaps due to the constant wind we had been experiencing, until Sunday. The wind died down overnight on Saturday and there was a film of ice on the lake. At the bottom right of this photo, you can see a relatively large area where the thin ice had been disturbed. From that place, you can see a clearly visible trail across to where the deer is laying down, where the ice has been broken and has refrozen.
My guess is that the deer was crossing the lake, fell through the ice and broke his leg at that time, thrashed around in the water for a while trying to get out. Since the deer had only one good front leg (conjecture) it was unable to get out of the water so decided to swim across the lake. When it got across the lake, it was confronted by the
I saw this part of a wing this morning when I was taking the dogs for a walk. Obviously some predator had enjoyed lunch, no doubt to this bird's great dismay.
But that's Mother Nature - some animals are food for others.
Update (Jan 1/09): The animal was a brush wolf, not a coyote. At least, that is what it is known as locally.