I would guess that the young ones found were not born in time to put enough weight and fat on for the winter. The 1.5 year old bucks probably (like horny teenagers) did a lot of chasing doe and got too preoccupied with rut to put on enough fat and weight to make it through the winter.
I found a spot in a ditch where 4 deer are laying dead that this recent thaw has reveled. This is a popular deer crossing that I think with the deep ditch, a lot of snow, became a deer trap. I think the deer were used to crossing there but when the hard snow began to melt, the deer sunk in and got trapped. From what I could see on 2 of the deer, the hair on the legs were rubbed raw which might have been from the layer of ice between the snow and the water running under the snow bank.
On a lighter note, I saw something this weekend that I wish I would have been able to capture on film. 2 Sandhill cranes standing in the middle of an open field with a coyote stalking them. I watched as the coyote closed the distance and made a run at the smaller of the 2. The crane simply jumped into the air as the coyote made it's lunge and then it was off to the races! Both cranes chased the coyote with heads down, necks out parallel to the ground, half running, half flying and the coyote running flat out with his tail between his legs! The chase went about 100 yards where the biggest crane caught up to the coyote, they tumbled and the coyote rolled free, changed dirrections and ran off. He ran about anouther 100 yards at top speed, then turned to look back, as he slowed to a trot and disapeared out of sight.
It was really cool! When the big crane caught up to the coyote, I saw a few feathers fly, and I thought it would be cool to go over and look at the feathers on the ground. With out thinking I start walking that way, keeping my eye on the two cranes that were still there, thinking they'd just move on. When I got to about 40 yards, these two cranes start squaking and screaming, and posturing up to chase me! Ever have a moment in the wild where it dawns on you that what you are doing is really stupid and dangerous? LOL When the big bird took a few running steps in my dirrection, I had my moment. Man are they fast and LOUD! He covered 20 yards and jumped about 12 ft straight up displaying his wings and claws like some Karate Kid nightmare! I opened up my jacket like big wings and slowly backed away....5 lbs of mud on each boot, fast wasn't an option. 20 yards away, the noise is incredable! He stood his ground, looked at me and believe through eye contact we came to an agreement. I backed away from his mate, he backed away towards his mate, all was good. By the time I backed off 200 yards, they were dancing! Mating dance, high five, victory dance, what ever it was, it was pretty cool.
American by birth, hunter by choice.