Bruce Garrett sent in an alternate theory on what happened to the deer in this post.
I'm not the expert here, but I think….Anne says: I'm no expert, but this seems reasonable to me. Thanks, Bruce.
1) a big cat that gets teeth/claws on a deer's neck - does not let it go. If the cat has pursued, knocked down and grabbed the neck with teeth and claws, it's venison time. -- This close, and it's dinner.
2) there are things like barbed wire strung all over the desert - a spooked deer could run into a wire and get these type of wounds from a rusty tangle along a little used trail.
Not as dramatic of a story, but it explains the frontal damage (cats attack from a pursuit - first damaging the rear). I can see spines/barbs ripping flesh and getting infected - resulting in the regular spacing and scars seen.