Previously, I had concluded that the bones belonged to a canine. If there is one thing that I have learned throughout my life, it's that Experience Counts. So I set out to ask some individuals with industry experience. I ended up sending out a couple of emails to anthropology professors at the University of Central Florida in search of a second opinion.
John Schultz, a Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology was the first to respond. He first indicated that I would not need to search for a microchip out in the woods. He then indicated that the partial skeleton had belonged to a juvenile deer, that was most likely hit by a car.
Without prior knowledge and looking solely at the spine and pelvis, it does seem as if the bones could belong to a canine. However, after looking at a deer skeleton and seeing the size of the femurs, things become much clearer. My casual attempt at classifying the bones turned out to be incorrect. I was dissapointed in myself for not conducting a more detailed analysis. On the other hand I was reasonably relieved by this, since I would not have to search for that microchip in the brush!
Some people like to see a glass as half empty or half full. I am one of those people that are just happy the glass exists. I'm happy this little deer and I came to cross paths as we did. Life has an interesting way of making things happen sometimes. This little deer had no clue that someone named Joe would eventually be sifting through the brush for it's bones. But someone named Joe did and learned quite a bit from it!