One of the other procedures that we did for the white-tailed deer collection this week was examine kidney condition and fat surrounding the kidney.  This method has been used for several decades as an index of overall deer health.  Not suprisingly, the more fat the healthier the deer.  Most rating scales are poor, fair, good, excellent.

After the kidney is removed and weighed, the fat is removed using a scalpel and reweighed.  The difference is obviously the amount of fat on the kidney and long term trends can be useful in identifying the health of a deer herd as management and land use changes.

Here is the kidney after the fat has been removed.  You can read more about this technique at the following website.  Scroll down and you will find what you are looking for.