A Fawn’d Farewell

Local skier Harlan Collins, left, inadvertently filled a deer tag on Nov. 27 when he collided with a young 90-pound mule deer on the last stretch of Lower College. But Collins chose to turn the unfortunate situation into a celebration of life and a free venison stew dinner, which drew dozens to Apples Bar & Grill on Friday, Dec. 3.

Some attendees said they had heard about the feast via Instagram, where footage of Collins carting the button buck down Baldy—deer draped around his shoulders—had garnered over 4,300 likes as of Monday. For most, though, it was word of mouth.

“It was Saturday, 3:30 p.m., and I was making the last run of the day,” Collins recounted of the incident. “I saw two deer peel off the right side of Lower College and put all my attention on them. Then I did a big turn across the hill, and not having peripheral vision with my goggles on, I didn't see the third one standing there.” While uninjured in the collision, Collins described the collision as grisly and unsettling. “I heard its neck snap and then it convulsed in front of us for about a minute,” he said.

Once at the bottom of River Run, Collins helped ski patrollers move the deer into a ski cart and cover it with a blanket. He then filled out an Idaho Fish and Game roadkill salvage tag, butchered the deer himself and donated it to Apples Bar & Grill, delivering it to owner Hank Minor in a cooler.

“I’m just glad they cooked it up. It’s super delicious,” Collins said of the stew.

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