Would a bear eat a deer hung in the tree


September 12, 2013, 12:16 PM
I am wanting to do some hunting out in the Ouachita National Forest. This place has bear.

I was thinking about what I would do if I were to get a deer. and lets just say I was several miles out and got one in the evening and the weather was cool enough.

I was thinking that I might find a tree close by and hang it there overnight. Then set up a hammock near by to camp for the evening. Wake up the next day, quarter it, then pack it out...Let's assume I have some buddies to help me out.

How much danger would I be in with that deer in the tree. Obviously I wouldn't put my hammock in the same tree as the deer. But how far should I stay away and would that pretty much draw every bear near by? Would I be in danger by skinning and quartering out there?

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September 12, 2013, 12:23 PM
Carry some meat bags and 550 cord and quarter the deer/elk in the tree as high as you can get it. Even if a bear gets to it it's unlikely they will get it all and it needs to be quartered and bagged anyway.
But yes a bear, coyotes, dogs will all go after a hanging carcass but they will probably go after the gut pile and hide first, do all your prep a ways away from where you intend to hang it.

Outlaw Man
September 12, 2013, 02:22 PM
Don't forget bears can climb better than you, so you're going to have to use your noggin if you're going to keep it where the bear can't get to it.

I'd clean it, quarter it, bag it and seal it in one or more of those bear-resistant coolers. While storing it away from you is definitely wise, I'm pretty sure leaving the entrails and hide is only going to serve to more effectively bait the bear. I suppose you could hope it gets full and doesn't want more, but have you seen how much a bear eats?

September 12, 2013, 02:28 PM
. Black bear will and do eat meat but are first and formost a forager of any mast and crop wild or planted that is nearing harvest. fresh grass and flowers and small critters. If you can bait for deer they will come to the same spots for what is placed for deer. Apples are a favorite here but they raise heck with our corn feeders too. Only time they have gone to deer is during a back warm winter and the black don't get enough late season crops in them and don't get much sleepy time. Then they will take your deer from you. Here in NC mountain that's more likely to be dec, jan, feb before a bear may go to died deer .

September 12, 2013, 04:43 PM
In Pennsylvania,a friend shot a buck and went to the camp for help.When he returned with a buddy a black bear was dragging the deer into some brush.They had to shoot into the ground around the bear to drive it away.It had already eaten part of the deer.

September 12, 2013, 04:48 PM

John Peddie
September 12, 2013, 06:36 PM
Black bears will also drag and eat the carcass of another black bear.

I once shot one near dusk, left it there til morning and came back to find it moved and partly eaten, and lots of fresh bear tracks in the sand to tell the rest of the tale.

September 12, 2013, 09:11 PM
Would a bear poop in the woods??

Of course it would.


Gun Master
September 12, 2013, 09:22 PM
Yes, and use the tree for a toothpick. Don't stick around for dessert !:neener:

September 13, 2013, 12:36 AM
I guess my question is really more of a safety question. I guess I should gut it....and well....if I can quarter and do the meat bags.....that would be easier to get away from the carcass and gut pile. Then get it up high in the tree...and sleep....what...100 yards away with one hand on my revolver? :)

September 13, 2013, 12:47 AM
a quick search on meat bags and I found this


These look like something worth packing in. I wonder if a quartered hip would fit. I looks like it would.

September 13, 2013, 02:15 AM
I would get at least a couple hundred yards from the gut pile. When you hang it in a tree the meat should be out of reach of the bear. A black bear can easily reach 6 ft up. THey can also climb trees and reach out or down about 3 ft. You should use the game bags, they protect the meat from flies and dirt and keep it from drying out. The bag may look small but they stretch a lot. One bag will cover a whole deer carcass. For the most part the bear is more scared of you than you are of them. I don't know much about where your hunting but are the bears hunted in that area? If they are they should be cautious of you and not a problem. Talk to the rangers, ask them about the fall food supply for the bears. That will be a good indication of how hungry they will be. Hang a radio tuned into a country station that plays Hank Williams or Willy Nelson songs:eek:,that will drive them away for sure.:neener:

September 13, 2013, 02:25 AM
Make sure you are well cleaned up and do not keep your bloody clothes near your bed.

September 13, 2013, 05:33 AM
As small as the bears are down in S.E. OK I doubt you will have too many problems. Besides I think they will be skiddish after the Bear season down there.

September 13, 2013, 10:28 AM
These look like something worth packing in. I wonder if a quartered hip would fit. I looks like it would.

$25 bucks seems pretty steep.
Here is what we use, they run about $5 at WalMart, heavy cloth that stretches well.
They really work best for elk and may be to big for deer but you can double them up if you want.
Stay away from the lighter cheese cloth like bags, they will tear if you look at them wrong.

September 13, 2013, 10:56 AM
Suspend it from a rope stretched between 2 trees at least 12 feet up.

Drive to a motel for the night.

Kayaker 1960
September 13, 2013, 10:59 AM
Years ago I got a dear in N. California. The dear was skinned and hung up with back legs about 6 feet off the ground. The rope went over a big limb on a fir tree and was tied off to a 5' tall sapling. I woke up the next morning to find that a bear had climbed up the tree far enough to reach over and grab the dear. The sapling was pulled almost completely out of the ground. What was left of the dear was hanging close to the ground. At least he left me the back strap and tenderloins.
So to answer your question, Definitely!

Bush Pilot
September 14, 2013, 12:39 AM
Suspend it from a rope stretched between 2 trees at least 12 feet up.

Drive to a motel for the night.
Yeah, and if you pack the deer out you won't have to drive back and hike in again to get the deer.

September 14, 2013, 10:34 AM
I bone the entire deer out and pack it out, just takeing my time...

It takes a BIG deer to have more than 50 pounds of just meat...


September 14, 2013, 10:52 AM
Leave a note on the deer saying "Do not eat!".

September 14, 2013, 11:43 AM

September 14, 2013, 11:44 AM
Hang it 10 ft up from the ground, 6 ft out from the tree trunk and it should be safe from those black bears. Make sure you are at least a couple hundred yards away from the gut pile. Sleep at least 50 yards from the meat. Do not sleep in the same clothing that you cleaned the bear in or cooked in. Hang those clothes up with the meat. Be sure you are clean of strong odors when you hit the sack. Keep a clean camp.

Don't be paranoid, be smart.

September 14, 2013, 11:58 AM
In reality you are probably over concerned about having your deer eaten by a random bear. The odds are not great of that happening.
I can say that at time myself or others I hunt with have had to leave an elk or deer unattended over night in areas that have recent bear, cat, coyote sign and the worst that has happened is that a few magpies have beat us there at sunrise.
Doesn't mean it can't happen and I know of others who hunted areas where they dumped "problem" bears and have been told that the bears came to the sound of gunfire because they had been conditioned to knowing there was food.
I believe that a precursor to most predators feeding on carrion is the presence of birds. I have seen a lot of gut piles and watched them over a couple days time and it seems the coyotes are often the last to find them. I also have observed that birds (magpies and crows) will ofter respond to predator calls before coyotes so I believe predators key in to bird activity when looking for an easy meal as they can quickly take over the pile from any birds present.
So in conclusion I wouldn't concern myself with leaving the carcass of a deer overnight so long as it was gutted and not to hot and moved away from the gut pile.

September 14, 2013, 01:08 PM
Just hang it up and don't worry about it. I would be more concerned about camping with that deer hanging close by. But who would do that, right? Even if a bear actually got to the deer, I don't see it as a big deal. Use common sense.

Bush Pilot
September 14, 2013, 06:57 PM
When my family and I visited Jellystone Park this summer the warden said we were more likely to have our pickanick baskets stolen by bears than anything else.

September 15, 2013, 03:01 AM
We had a grizzly visit our camp in northern BC and munch a bit on one of the elk hanging hauling away one quarter.

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa437/boxhead61/BCHunt029.jpg (http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/boxhead61/media/BCHunt029.jpg.html)

September 15, 2013, 12:19 PM
grizzlys are a bit different in there eating habits from black bears.

Gun Master
September 15, 2013, 11:43 PM
The best burger I've had was elk.:D I can see why the grizz like it:evil:, but mine was grilled.:cool:

Double Naught Spy
September 16, 2013, 07:54 AM
I was going to do a Green Eggs and Ham rhyme for this, but suffice it to say that bears don't care where the food is so long they can reach it.

September 16, 2013, 09:27 AM
Without hesitation and wouldn't even say "please" or "thank you.";)

Gun Master
September 19, 2013, 12:06 AM
Yum ! Bear sushi !:evil:

September 21, 2013, 12:56 AM
here in the southern appalachians we are not "supposed" to have big cats, but we most certainly do, I've seen one out on our road ONCE and then one night I had left a deer hanging from a 12 ft. stepladder in my driveway. Heard a commotion and went outside, the deer carcass lept about 15 feet in one bound, landed on top of my old chevy bel-air and 2 more leaps, it was gone... I don't know that it was a big cat, but I'm not sure a bear could leap like that. Whatever it was, I wanted NOTHING to do with it, so I just went right back inside. 2 days later, the majority of the skeleton was back in my front yard.

so, YES, things will eat your deer, and don't count on the animals that are "extinct" in your area not existing... The best advice is to just hang it high and away from branches. Sleep with a magnum revolver, at least that's what I'd do....

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