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Thread: Bears on your moose kill

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    Default Bears on your moose kill

    I know there are many posts on the forum about this issue but I have a few specific questions about bears and moose. To clarify, I am talking about brown bears only. I know there are bears in the area and confrontations are very possible. This is a pack in, pack out, hunt with no planes, boats, horses, or atv's.

    My questions are:


    1). If you down a moose at almost dark, do you a) work through the night to cut up the moose b) camp next to the moose c) camp away from the moose and hope the bears are feeding on someone else's moose or d) other suggestions?

    2). If while you are packing part of the moose out, you return to camp to find a brown bear on your moose. Suggestions?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    1 - I would probably get to work right away and get the moose quartered up and in meat bags. I wouldn't do so out of concern for bears, though, but rather to get the meat cool. I'd then hang the bags if at all possible. If not, I'd move them at least a few hundred yards away from the remains, lay them out to cool and sleep nearby with a firearm accessible. In my experience, bears don't often get on kill sites within the first 24 hours (though there are certainly exceptions).

    2 - If I were in an area with an open brown bear season, I'd take the bear. Assuming that you might be talking about the Ship Creek registration moose hunt, though...make a lot of noise, survey the situation. If meat is still salvageable, try to work your way into the site to retrieve the meat. Much of this situation can be avoided, though, if you get the meat off the animal reasonably quickly and hang the meat bags. Carrying rope into the field will add to your pack weight, but it'll save your meat while you're away.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Just take a pee break a couple of times and call it good. You'll be sweating enough and making enough racket it will take them awhile to come in... heck, you put out a bear bait and it takes them FOREVER to come in.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    WHat I did was shot him at 9 am by 12 all the meat was off and cooling I disnt have big enough bags to fit quarters in I was at least a mile and a half up from wheeler and way above tree line so I used hide to lay a few quarters on cut open game bags for the rest and covered with game bags and 2 I covered with a space blanket I flipped them all once before I left then I packed out the back straps and tenderloins. Had to return the next day with a few friends. Never had a bear on it and I was worried due to the amount of bear sign but one of the guys I came back with who has lots of experience, said not to worry about it if anything they'll eat the fat off hind quarters and eat the snout. I thoughtthat was weird but he swore that's all they ever touched on his kills. A few weeks later a buddy went back and there was a blackie on the guts.

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    I have worked into the wee hours on a moose, and I have on seperate seasons left two moose overnight in the field, one was quartered, bagged and covered, the other was gutted and propped open. I never had a bear come upon the kill sight and cause a disturbance. In most circumstances I would not work into the wee hours cutting on a moose, and I most definitely would not carry a heavy load in the dark-even just the one load back to camp for the night, the risk of injury is to great.

    One thing I think very important: Ask yourself if you would rather try to defend yourself from a bear in the dark, or if you would rather deal with a bear in the morning light.

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    This year, we shot a spike-fork about 20 minutes before sundown, about 3 miles through the nasty brush from camp. We had no time to do anything but cut his throat, mark our harvest card and get the heck back on the trail. He was in the middle of really swampy stuff (neither solid ground nor open water) and we hada really good vantage point that we could see him from. We had to gamble and just leave him. Next morning, we got on the high spot and he was untouched. It helps if you're in swampy areas. I think the bears prefer drier ground with more berries. 2 thoughts:

    1) It's a VERY good idea, if you have to shoot and come back in the morning, to figure out a vantage point to take a good look at your kill before going in. Try to make some sort of marker so you can see if something has been on it. Tying a blue tarp over the kill is a great way to see if something got into it.

    2) If you do shoot it right before dark, carefully open the gut cavity. We didn't do that. The meat was all fine (except the heart and liver) but the gases in that cavity got SOOOO nasty by morning. Several times when we were done quartering and were trying to get the guts off, we had to run upwind and dry heave a for a few minutes. I still have to change diapers daily (fairly used to vile smelling things) but that gut smell ALMOST made me puke several times. If we get one at dusk again, I'm opening the guts so those gases can get out.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    I've done the "right at dark" thing a number of times with both mine and other peoples moose. If it's fairly cool out (near or at freezing at night) we gut them, roll them on their back if possible, and prob the cavity open so it can cool over night, then head back to camp. When returning the next day I do it on high alert with weapon in hand. No issues so far.

    If it warmish out, I'll try and take the time to skin it out and leave it laying on the hide, once again propped open for cooling. Did that with one this year.

    Under most circumstances, I don't see any reason to sit on the kill site to protect it from bears. I've done the "bear in the dark" thing before and it's spooky. If a bear is on the kill in the morning... well, I can eat bear too I guess.



    Yk

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    I have lost moose in the past to bears left over night, and also hanging from the meat pole. An old timer told us to hang a couple Coleman, white fuel, lanterns near the meat and they will leave it alone, he said the hissisng sound bothers them. It's worked for the last 10 or so years.

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    We've also done the "right at dark" thing.. Our logic has always been, that harvested game should be field dressed right away. Usually while I begin skinning the animal, my son hot foots it to our old traditional camp for the ancient coleman lantern. Which tied off to a high enough tree branch gives off plenty of light to properly field dress a moose by... We put up a temp meat pole and as we carve off a qtr and bag it, we hang it on the temp meat pole, usually some distance away from the kill site/gut pile.. when we finish we pump up the coleman and leave it hanging on the end of the temp meat pole... and we go back to camp to get some sleep...

    I don't know if the light from the lantern repells the bears or not, but one instance leads me to believe they prefer to shy away from the lantern light...

    My son had dropped a rather large bull mid-day, and we had it dressed out, packed to camp, and hanging on a meat pole under a tarp... In the middle of the night my son woke up to the sounds of a bear woofing around the meat pole, and the new lantern had gone out... Something was defective on the new lantern, and we had to keep pumping it up every 45 mins or so to keep it working... Once we relit the lantern we took turns watching for the bear to come back or the lantern to need more pumping... The bear had managed to bite the bottom out of a bag covering a hind qtr and probably got a good taste of blood.. and little meat.. but with the lantern lit (and working) the bear stayed away... At first light we were both up, stuffing ourselves with blueberry pancakes and hot coffee before we begin loading the boat for the run home....

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Remember a bear eating your moose is NOT a DLP if taken
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    That is a great point Amigo Will. So if you do return to your moose and find a bear on it, which you cannot shoot, where do you go from here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorzman View Post
    That is a great point Amigo Will. So if you do return to your moose and find a bear on it, which you cannot shoot, where do you go from here?
    that's not a problem in 16B... unless you've already harvested your legal limit of black and brown bear over there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorzman View Post
    That is a great point Amigo Will. So if you do return to your moose and find a bear on it, which you cannot shoot, where do you go from here?
    If you can't shoot him, and you can't run him off, then you go home from there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorzman View Post
    That is a great point Amigo Will. So if you do return to your moose and find a bear on it, which you cannot shoot, where do you go from here?
    If you have a bear tag (where required) and season is open, shoot it if you wish. It is an incidental take of a bear.


    Amigo did not say you cannot shoot the bear, he is stating that you cannot shoot the bear and claim a DLP situation because you are defending your moose kill, there is no provision to make that claim. The law does see the moose carcass as "your property".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Remember a bear eating your moose is NOT a DLP if taken
    Well maybe...if he's kicking your butt in an effort to run you away....

    But seriously, I've been down the road of leaving moose and meat for the morning work shift. Just a few weeks ago I shot a bull which unfortunately ran to a shallow slough and cr-spl-ashed dead there. I worked on him until quite late. Got one side completely done (and boned/bagged) and 80% of opposite side. Just ran out of light before all trimming and such was done. I had to leave 3 bags of meat there, plus the head. I waited until good broad daylight and came in alertly. No bear. I finished my chores and had everything away from the bull in a few hours.

    Due to distance, time and water crossings, I elected to make 2 meat caches. The first night I moved the meat about 250 yards away from the dead bull. I put it in a copse of spruce trees on a mossy mound, and then covered it with a tyvek tarp for the night. I spent all the next day packing meat from the trees (and carcass) to a shallow rapids where I crossed. I deposited the meat there, and some of it spent the night. I just left it on the moss, in bags and uncovered to the night cold. Some of the meat made it all the way to my airstrip. I finished it all up the next morning. Every last bit of boned meat and the head required backpacking all the way.

    My pilot friend dropped in shortly after, and asked me if I'd been back to the carcass that morning...

    "Nope".

    "Good thing. Big grizzly hovering over it when I flew in".

    I did get to see that bear when I flew out. Soared over him at about 100' elevation in a Cub....and was he ever a beauty. I do love wild Alaska.

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    Member akjeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    If you can't shoot him, and you can't run him off, then you go home from there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Remember a bear eating your moose is NOT a DLP if taken
    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorzman View Post
    That is a great point Amigo Will. So if you do return to your moose and find a bear on it, which you cannot shoot, where do you go from here?
    More than likely, if you attempt to chase a brown or griz off your kill/meat, it will turn on you and then... well use your best judgement. More power to you, if you are able to run it off.

    I always assume that there IS a bear on my meat or guts, especially in the dark. I also assume a bear is in my camp when returning after dark. Only after verification do I like to proceed. I try and be vigilant, but become hyper vigilant when my kids are with me.



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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akjeff View Post
    More than likely, if you attempt to chase a brown or griz off your kill/meat, it will turn on you and then... well use your best judgement. More power to you, if you are able to run it off.
    Not advocating such, and certainly not what I would choose personally. Was simply answering the question at face value. Seemed pretty straightforward. If you find a bear on your kill, and are unable to shoot it (for whatever reason) I'd say the carcass belongs to the bear now; time to go home.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    If you have a bear tag (where required) and season is open, shoot it if you wish. It is an incidental take of a bear.


    Amigo did not say you cannot shoot the bear, he is stating that you cannot shoot the bear and claim a DLP situation because you are defending your moose kill, there is no provision to make that claim. The law does see NOT the moose carcass as "your property".
    Had to add a word mistakenly omitted.

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Not a moose but a Kodiak Deer trip. Friend and I leave at daybreak. Within 45 minutes friend pops over a little hill after giving me time to circle and wait. well, 2 shots and he's got a fork and a spike down. I assist in gutting one an offer to help him pack. No, he says I got all day. so, i head up the mountain and see does but no bucks.
    returning late passing the kill site one deer is still there draped over a log. I quarter and remove all the meat and antlers and start for camp. I,m crossing a muskeg and see movement to my left. It's an 8 point (eastern count ) peering over the slight rise. I drop the pack, get down on one knee and shoot him in the white patch as he's facing me. I do a quick butcher job, hang the meat, and head to camp with my friends deer.
    next morning were going to retrieve my Deer. Pretty dark yet so we wait at the edge of the meadow. Oh no, I can't see any meat. we wait some more and finally approach. All I got were the antlers and one tag shy for my efforts.
    good thing the next day he repayed me by packing a 6 pointer.

    AS TO THE LANTERN TRICK, i WAS GUIDING for a well known outfitter out of Cold bay, combo Bear and Caribou.Two hunters and 2 assistant guides. We had a 9x12 wall tent and a 6 man nylon tent. Cooking and storing gear in the big tent. One stormy night rain sideways and blowing 40 I heard a Bear then with the flashlight I see it has 2 big cubs. In and out of that wall tent chewing up everything. Then i smell her. she is inches from my unzippered tent . Block your ears boys and laying flat I shoot thru the top. They ran off.
    next morning the outfitter comes in to see if we got a bear. first thing a client says Roland shot thru your new tent explaing the situation. , " THE OUTFITTER SAYS YOU SHOULD OF LIT THE LANTERN THEY DONT LIKE THE LIGHT " hEY, THE COLEMAN WAS IN THE WALL TENT AND ONE TO THREE bEARS WAS IN.THERE. No way was I to get that lantern. we all had a big laugh on that one.

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    "I always assume that there IS a bear on my meat or guts, especially in the dark. I also assume a bear is in my camp when returning after dark. Only after verification do I like to proceed. I try and be vigilant, but become hyper vigilant when my kids are with m
    e"

    possibly the best advise i have ever been told and a simple thing to practice. I have been doing this for as long as i can remember. We can become quite lazy and that's were we get in to trouble

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