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The second day of deer found a doe that had been totally covered up with leaves and part of one hind quarter eaten. I have heard if grizzlies doing this but anyone ever seen or heard of a black bear covering up their meal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
pumpgun said:
mistaken kill and then something found it and ate it.
There were bear tracks around it so a bear munched and the covered it up. I just wanted to know of anyone knew of black bear doing this.
 

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I have seen a few deer covered up by bears and this deer season I found a doe that was covered by a bobcat. This one looked like it was hit by a car. Both front legs were broke it was only about 50 feet off the road laying under some hemlock trees. Bobcat tracks every place you could see where it layed on top of the deer and ate on the shoulder.
 

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Last season my future father in law called me asking if I could go with him to retrieve a doe he shot but lost the trail in the dark, it was the early muzzleloader season. Well we get to the sight he last had blood right at daylight the next morning and quickly picked up the trail, about 150yds later I could smell "gut shot deer" and said so as I looked up to see a 200lb bear on his hind legs about 30yds in front of us if that. We walked directly to where the bear was, as thats where the blood lead us, and what did we find.....the deer my FIL shot drug down the hill a few yards from where blood trail ended burried under leaves with only about 4" of one leg visible and the rest of the deer was hidden very well, so well that from 3 feet away my FIL honestly looked right by it at first and you couldnt tell how much of the deer was left! I grabbed the leg sticking out and pulled out his deer, the bear had started eating from the anus first eating part of one hind quarter as well as the little button bucks manhood! We salvaged backstraps, the other hindquarter, and both front shoulders and left the rest for the bear.


In the 70+ years my FIL and myself have in the woods between us we have never seen anything like this in the PA woods. I have heard/seen on tv grizzlies or cats doing this but never black bears. There is no doubt in either of our minds the bear we came up on was the animal that did this, yea he was opportunistic and simply came across an easy meal so he hid it...but sure was crazy to see one in "action"
 

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Ive seen partially eaten deer covered by debris that had bear tracks near it. I don't really know if the bear killed it and covered it or more likely a yote kill that a bear found and confiscated
 

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Its not uncommon for a bear to cache a dead animal it has been feeding on, even though it didn’t kill it and was only scavenging on it.

Bobcat also cache their kills but it is generally pretty easy to tell the difference between a bobcat kill and something a bear has cached. Bears will generally pull the hide off of the part they are going to eat and usually eat from the hindquarters before they bother any thing else. Bobcat will usually ear from the neck and top of the check of a deer before caching the rest. Then after they have eaten they will generally only cover the head and neck area.

These two pictures are typical bobcat kills, feeding and caching. The second picture is after I removed enough of the leaf cover to show what was eaten.





Dick Bodenhorn
 

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I don't know about covering with leaves, but I spooked a coyote off of a very fresh killed doe one time and he had just started tearing into her. He went right for the hind quarter. I'm not saying they always do it that way, but that one did.
 

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clearfield12 said:
How big was that deer in the pic that the bobcat killed?
That one was an average size doe that was carrying two embryos and I have seen where bobcat killed even larger does. In most of the cases I have seen where bobcat killed deer it has been pretty much an ideal case for the bobcat where they had an elevated position (either a tree limb or rock ledge) where they could launch onto the back of a deer as it walked by. Based on the evidence in the snow it appears they can kill even a large adult deer in a VERY short distance when they launch onto their back.

In the case of the one in the pictures there was no snow so the whole story wasn’t as easy to read as when there is a kill on snow. In this case I couldn’t find anything to indicate the bobcat had used an elevated attack position and suspect it was a ground ambush. But, based on the small struggle area it appeared to have been a pretty quick kill.

I am pretty well convinced that bobcat are better equipped to kill adult deer that coyotes during periods with either no or small amounts of snow. I suspect coyotes do ok with deep snow and crust condition where they can run on top and deer can’t. But, over the years I have seen way more bobcat than coyote deer kill sites.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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That is amazing. I never had the thought of a bobcat being as proficient at killing deer as a pack of yotes.

Are there certain times of the year when bobcats are more prone to take deer as opposed to small game?
 

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clearfield12 said:
That is amazing. I never had the thought of a bobcat being as proficient at killing deer as a pack of yotes.

Are there certain times of the year when bobcats are more prone to take deer as opposed to small game?
I don’t think they take a lot of deer, at least not that I have seen, but I thing think just like any other predator they will take one when they get the right opportunity to do so without risking injury. I don’t think the time of year makes any difference and that it is all opportunistic killing. They probably aren’t thinking deer when they lay in wait but if it is a deer that comes by instead of a mouse, rabbit or turkey then that is what they take.

I have also seen deer go on high alert when they become aware of a bobcat nearby. In fact more so wit bobcat than with coyotes. I also credit the presence of the bobcat with making deer a lot more alert and cautious about anything they see moving in the woods as compared to the way it once was. Remember when deer would let you walk up toward them and when they would come closer to you if they couldn’t figure out what you were? You don’t see deer doing that nearly as much as they used to. I suspect that chance in deer behavior came about in part from the fact that both bobcat and coyote are now a threat to them when that simply wasn’t the case twenty or thirty years ago and in some areas maybe only a few years ago.

Dick Bodenhorn
 
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