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Starvation Moon by ursulav Starvation Moon by ursulav
This is a piece from the beginning of the year that I'm only now getting around to uploading.

Someone told me that deer starving in winter was a total myth. It made me angry. When I am angry, I return to my more gothic roots.

6 x 18, mixed media. Prints available:
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xXCOYOTEXx Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015
So I read this several times and, if you'll allow me, I'd like to give my interpretation of the words.

Under the last moon of Winter: Until the end of time

We starved: We suffered

The hunger hollowed out our bones: The suffering left us feeling empty

We ate our dead: We tried to reconcile the past and the things we've done/had done to us

And found them still hungry inside us: and found that we could not. And those things will be with us forever.
ThisOneisHaku Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
I am not so eloquent, but I like this very much. 
Scrawling-Chaos Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014  Professional Artist
The choice of words actually reminds me of wendigo myths I've heard before, which i think in some cases have a connection to deer. In any case this is terrifically spooky and intense.  
methowwolf Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey, I thought of the Wendigo too!
GideonKalveJarvis Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014
Dang...hardcore.  I am so very much using imagery like this in the next story I write.
PopCornSalt Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. :love:
MajorDbag Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014
Is it wrong if seeing this put a big grin on my face and made me say "That's Metal!"? Headbang! 
MoogleDust Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2013
It's dark, but beautifully powerful.
It impresses and depresses me all at once.
Remarkable work.
ShineNotBurn Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Was thinking the same thing
nienor Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013
So fricking creepy!
TorpidMarauder Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013
These gothic roots of yours look pretty damn amazing. And sound pretty damn amazing.

Can you give us a little more angry art, please?
RandomDigits123 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013
So chilling, and beautiful!
Vanshira Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
...those words need to find themselves a story worthy of them.

...and that is a persuasive argument for putting hunting season at the end of's better than starving. (Plus there's that much more food left for the deer that aren't killed by hunters.)
Nimras Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013
I can't believe that people can pay that little attention. Of course the deer go hungry come winter -- too many deer, too little food. What to people think happen, manna from heaven? 

That rant over, this piece is perfect. 
aseariel Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohgoodness, that is a striking image/text combo. :o
kashuarashi Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013
...blatant and utter stupidity and the inability to grasp basic reality results in awesome artwork... I think you just found the purpose of utter morons.

...that said, I could still do without the utter morons. :|
freerangepenguin Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013
Powerful image, powerful words.  Wow.  Wow wow wow...
Valkyrie69 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013
So very awesome!
BrittaM Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Deer don't starve in the winter, they can just stop in McDonald's right? Don't they have grocery stores?

thedragonlady Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This would be perfect as a bookmark. :)
fainting-goat Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That is the most haunting thing I've seen in a while.
Paladin343 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wait wait someone told you it was a MYTH? Ffffffffffscrew that. ...But hey, you made good art out of it.
Servitor2152 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013
Deliciously creepy.
SeeSamSketch Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Student General Artist
This is really haunting and great!
LoboDiabloLoneWolf Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That extract is both terrifying and haunting. I love it.
methowwolf Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"We ate our DEAD and found them STILL HUNGRY inside us."

Zed-of-Venice Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013   General Artist
i love it
Not-Quite-Lilac Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013
I looked at the picture, read the writing and looked at some of the comments and then went back without setting this as a favourite.
Fortunately I realised my mistake a second later.

Aaand now I'm fixing that.
Great image.
MissDudette Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013
Well golly, all animals starve in the winter. Some people, gosh. 

Love the quote up there, intense. 
Ranubis Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013   General Artist
The writing fits the image brilliantly.
LorienInksong Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional General Artist
I don't know why but the words in this piece have really stuck in my mind.  Am I right to presume its not a quotation from anything but something you came up with?
DerPidder Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
Creepy, I like it. :)
iceforger1 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
I'm sure it's been said before, but if you could create with your mind directly instead of filtering it through your hands and eyes it would be a thing of terrible beauty, sharp and incisive, probably with a frog. I don't mean to imply that this isn't that as well but some how I think having to draw instead of simply intend softens art somehow. Still has a gratuitous frog though. 
darzoni Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
Yeah, creepy.

And... slap that person.  We got deer starving out here in the summer because it's been too dry.  So they've been eating EVERYTHING in the garden.
CreatureSH Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
"And found them still hungry inside of us" is a blockbuster of a line.
Mad--Rain Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
there's something really primal about the fear of starving or even beeing hungry, I think anyone can imagen even if they never had to be hungry for long. I think this depicts that very wel. great job
blind-dancer Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it reminds me of Wendigo...
professionalamature Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
I have really missed seeing your art in the updates, it's good to have you back again! :)
GoldeenHerself Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013   Traditional Artist
I remember seeing this in person at FC—fantastic and chilling.

"…and found thing still HUNGRY inside us."

leigh-chan Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
this is extra creepy, but i love it
BanditRingtail3 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
Eep. o.o;; I'd rather not have this in my head before camping over the weekend.

Too late now.
SiteLine6 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
unfortunately humans have upset the balance and removed the end equation for the deer.
and now, yes, in many place starvation is a very real thing,  If not coupled with tic infestations that plague them to make matters worse.
I feel sorry for the person that told you it was a myth, So ill informed.
Your irked mood is well founded, and this work is a grand testament.
SilentTakeshi Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013

I honestly didn't know deer starved in winter. Now I'm considering putting out a feeder for them this winter. Though I'm not sure quite how to do that...

This is a very lovely piece. The horror of the piece contrasted with deer's usual image of cute little Bambi makes it extra jarring. You also did a good job on the dialogue-- the deer really sounds delusional with hunger and horrified both at its situation and at its own actions. 

forestchild666 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer

Its not just the lack of apex predators. Deer starve in the winter because there just isn't any food available. Deer like green things, buds, acorns, grasses and whatnot. These food items are just naturally limited in availability in the winter. That's why they spend all year gaining weight and putting on fat. There is a lot of fat to be found on a deer that is caught early in hunting season. But snow makes it harder to find these food items and when there is a lot of snow, deer can get snowed into their deer yards. This happened while I was in college. There was so much snow that winter, that the deer populations, dropped drastically. They were unable to leave their yard to forage. Deer also die when fed by people in the winter. Their gut flora just cant handle the hand outs, so they die bloated and starving with a full belly. (So please don't feed the deer).


It may sound horrible to us humans but starvation is a natural part of life. The weak die and feed the opportunistic. Those that live were the ones fortunate enough to put on enough fat in spring/summer/fall months to make it through and not die of disease and therefore get to give birth to the next generation. This IS the cycle of life whether we like it or not.

And even if there were wolves and mountain lions to help balance the deer populations (along with the human hunters and the coyotes), there would still be disease and starvation. These are just the tools nature uses to keep ALL populations in check.

cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, and no, depending on where you are and predator density. Animals that go hungry too long will usually be eaten by predators as soon as they're too weak to escape in a plentiful and healthy ecosystem; that's long before they actually begin to starve. I live in Texas, and we hunt here, and this shocked me about six different ways because it finally clicked into numb realization as I read the description and comments in vaguely concerned bafflement that I had **never seen a starving deer** - never even conceived of the notion - because between the coyotes and the lions and ourselves, they die briefly and bloodily and not in any such slow, suffering manner as this. Even hard winters - winters after good springs, when there are too many surviving yearling fawns competing for food - I have never seen a deer without a healthy coat of fat, and I never even paused to think of this as lucky.

In a balanced environment, a year without extremity of drought or disease in the plants (this far south, we don't get that kind of snow), the food just usually lasts until spring. I think it's the way of warm places; there's tremendous density of life of every kind, so life-as-food is constantly in circulation: quick to perish, quick to rot, quick to grow again.
forestchild666 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer

I've lived my entire life in New England and went to college in Maine to get my degree in wildlife. Deer can't handle large snow drifts like the moose can. They just aren't that tall. As for predators, that would be the coyotes and the humans. The Eastern Mountain Lion is considered extinct around here, and there are no wolves (yet). Up here in Mass where I live now, many people disapprove of hunting of any kind, they don't want to see Bambi get shot, but they don't want him eating their landscaping either. So the deer are considered to be over populated. (at least in Mass). I've yet to see a starving deer either, but after a childhood of watching Wild America, and any wildlife program I could watch, I know and can accept that starvation is a part of the circle of life. The weak die (especially in winter) and the scavengers and other opportunistic predators feast on carcasses.

If the environment were plentiful as you put it, then they wouldn't starve or even go hungry. But up here in the winter, even a healthy environment has little to offer, and even less when there are feet of snow on the ground. But that is the norm. Starvation in extreme winters is the norm, especially true the further north you go.

What I said earlier still holds true though. Disease and starvation are a part of the natural order, right along side predation. When a population gets to big for its environment animals starve, die of disease, and while this is happening, the predator population catches up and increases as well. Then the prey population decreases again, and the predator population follows the same path of its prey; starvation, disease and a decreasing population. Even in warm places, you have the threat of extreme droughts and even wildfires. And when there are a few years in a row with good plant growth, there would be the population boom. This boom would be followed by a crash during the next extreme drought. Of course there could be many long years in a row where there is excellent plant growth. The environment still has a max of what it can hold sustainably. Once a population exceeds that threshold, regardless of climate or geography, disease and starvation increase along with predation. Disease and starvation are always there. They don't go away with location. The rates at which they appear increase and decrease with population size.

I have a question though. I've been to Texas, and the majority of the deer I saw there were on fenced in ranches for canned hunting. I know that there are many of these ranches in the south. They would be well fed on grain because those deer were bred for their trophy racks and are worth thousands of dollars. So my question is, how many of the deer you've seen been outside the fences?

cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm wildly late to this party so I don't know if this remains of interest to you - but while I've been around a couple of fenced-in ranges, all the hunting I've ever done and been exposed to in person was on leases with standard cattle fences of maybe four feet, which isn't even of notice to a deer. I've watched our wild deer clear one of those "deer proof" eight foot fences for better grazing and what looked like fun. Where I was hunting primarily was in north Texas, in an area not particularly replete with game preserves or the kind of wealth that results in the canned kind of "hunting" - but a fair bit of cattle pasturing, a lot of which is still thickly wooded with oak, elm and pecan.
RivieraR Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I just love this!
Tarliman Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is why deer hunting has become a necessity. We got rid of the wolves. Now the only way to keep the deer from starving in the winter is for humans to thin their ranks in the fall. Don't even talk to me about humane. It's less humane for the deer to starve (and I live on a farm, I've seen gaunt, hollow-eyed deer browsing the remains of stubble in the fields in February) than it is for me or someone else to quickly end their lives. We're just taking the place of the wolves - no trophy heads here, that's a waste of useful hide and antler and bone. Also, I'm allergic to meat from CAFOs. Wild game is one of the few safe sources of meat for my diet. 
tonyblue89 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, guess I'm foregoing sleep tonight.
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Submitted on
July 24, 2013
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