Ugh. Or: One disadvantage of trailers

My husband ran over a prairie dog while driving to the reservoir today, towing my boat on the trailer.

When I say “ran over,” I mean he really nailed it. Not a glancing blow, or just running over a tail. We had noticed smushed PDs all over the road, as if they were running out of a field that was being sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. And PDs are notoriously dumb around cars in the first place.

Bottom line: Judging by the substantial, full-on THUD when he hit it, we knew it was dead.

But it wasn’t till we parked the vehicle and I got out to unstrap the boat that the, er, full impact became clear. He must’ve flattened that PD and exploded it. Blood spray, bits of (ICK) PD flesh and what appeared to be grit (bone bits?) had splattered the trailer, the wheels, the straps, the foam blocks, and the boat. It STANK, too—not unsurprisingly of blood baking in the hot sun, but also of smelly flesh. No wonder those things aren’t hunted for meat. Not to mention bubonic plague.

Some of the grossness got superficially rinsed off with water from a bottle, plus of course my paddling, but the rest I had to hose off at home later, twice. The smell persisted longer than I expected.

The straps I washed off right at the paddle venue’s outdoor spigot and later I soaked them in dish detergent solution. They’re OK now.

The foam blocks, though, needed extra work. Washing them wasn’t enough. When they dried, I could still see the stains—not blood stains, but what must have been GREASE STAINS from the fatty little beast. To get rid of those, the same Gojo Orange gel I use for cleaning hands after oil changes did the trick.

This was the one time I would have preferred the boat been rooftopped instead of trailered. Lucky it wasn’t a skunk…


I haven’t needed to do this in a while but back when I occasionally paddled the “mighty muddy Mississippi” I’d get the boats really filthed up. A stop by a “U spritz-it” car wash on the way home was sometimes called for. Perhaps it would work for PDs too.

That muck water is even worse, because you don’t know what ingredients are in it!

The vehicle got a trip to the car wash after the other gear was cleaned at home. It actually was not bad because only the right rear tire hit the PD. Which just happened to be the side my boat was on the trailer.

I’d wash both the car and boats at the drive-through.
You’re right about ingredients. But actually the creepiest time was one where I didn’t need to clean up. This was back when I was a kid (pre Clean Water Act) and had done a three day trip on the (Illinois) Fox and Illinois rivers. I threw the Grumman on the car (that met us at the take out - I didn’t drive yet) at the end and noticed the usual algae/mud at the waterline - but below the waterline was clean. Really clean. Like a brand new penny clean. I’d paddled through something that had dissolved the oxides off an aluminum canoe. Dead animals aren’t as creepy.


Uhg, I feel for ya! So far I haven’t experienced animal…uh…stuff, but I can see how it would happen.

My friend hit a dead deer carcus on I-24… He washed it , the undercarriage twice. My dog wouldn’t go near the truck for weeks.

A friend and I had to paddle over a long dead deer in Virginia. We had to push the carcass down to get over. We paddled several more miles that took the smell off.

We are fighting Zebra Mussels in Texas, so every paddle trip is ending at the car wash .
On a more disgusting note, a few years back we were paddling on the Rio Chama in New Mexico and thanks to a sudden down pour, one of the normally dry Arroyos issued forth a collection of wildlife in various stages of decay including two halves of a cow (not sure if they were from the same cow). The mouth of the Arroyo was a couple of feet above the river level so the filth came out of there like a fire hose and just about knocked one of our guys out of his boat. It was literally raining dead animals. Turned the water to something like stinky chocolate milk. Gross.

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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
that was funny! Well, funny that it was happening to someone else. Extremely gross to have happen otherwise.

NIce to hear about folks taking the Zebra Mussels seriously. My boats get a quick backyard spray down between trips to different waterways.

You win the Most Disgusting Story award!!!

Watch out for opaque brown rivers. I was eddied out along the Colorado during a record high spring flow. A rounded mound that looked like a boulder drew me over, thinking I’d hold onto it. At the very last nanoinstant before I touched it, some black dots I’d thought were just dirt MOVED and FLEW. Flies. The rounded mass was the bloated belly of a dead deer.

We run in to a lot of dead deer and other animals on river cleanups, especially in cattle country. If a big cow falls in and drowns most ranchers have no real easy way to retrieve it and if they do then they have to dispose of it, so they just let nature take its course.

The Effects of Foxy Formulations on Men-in-the-Drink Lillydipped

Pat had paddled through the Fox,
old Grumman’s backside gleamed.
Still waters hold their deep, dark secret
where once the crappie teamed.

So imagine an unplanned wet exit
where water’s a lesser solvent,
to puzzling, Marvel-less a comic
than frightening self-evolvement?


Two paddlers got flooded by muck,
Which they thought was merely bad luck.
A good look at the flotsam
Showed a whole mess of rotsam!
Causing them to scream out, “Oh, ______!”

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Ain’t It Offal!

Paddlin’ past the slaughterhouse,
coastal waters after dark.
Ain’t no bull er’s things go bump in night,
don’t let me be jumped by bull shark.

Prairie Dog Popcorn

Prairie Dog Popcorn
They’re readyin’ per radials a batch.
Ain’t quite the please of 'em Jujubes,
but races pieces each dog gone swerving are attached.

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I am really staring to worry about you all. :stuck_out_tongue:

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No worries Mate!

Better than hitting a dead skunk when on a motorcycle.

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I hit a bobcat once while towing a heavy boat trailer.
I am still sad about it.

Ha! You worry too late.

When some of us got hooked on paddling,
Unwittingly brains began addling.
Was it Eau de Neoprene
Or oily Essence Piscine?
That sent our decorum skedaddling?