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Black Bear Climbing With A Deer?

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I have heard this often repeated that cougar will cache deer in a tree, but as in the link above, I have seen no real documentation of this or observation of cougar actually doing this. What I have read is that a deer is found up in a tree and then it is assumed a cougar did it. Is there any real evidence that cougar do this or is it a matter of assumption? If any of you have a link that provides evidence of cougar caching deer in trees, can you link it? I have found some people claiming after studying cougar for years that they have never seen this behavior and this link has a few of them in it. The question has been posed is that in the east, is a deer found up in a tree evidence that cougar are in the area. This makes it quite relevant because the state agencies do not want to admit cougar inhabit their regions.

http://coyotes-wolve...vidence-of.html

So what is the truth here? Deer have been found in trees fairly close to my area in the upper Midwest. What is truly responsible for this? An escaped leopard? If cougar do this, why isn't their much documentation (at least that I can find) of this? Finally, why would they do this as scavengers still can get to them and it would disperse the scent of rotting meat much further.

A guy I know saw a cougar carry a deer up in a tree while he was hunting.

I don't think that its so much that officials don't want to admit to Panther inhabitation so much as they don't want to be inaccurate in stating that they are in the region when it may be a transient from another, a released pet, or one that has taken up a home in an uncommon region but is the only one. Just because there is one doesn't mean there is a breeding population.

I use to think the same until I saw an adolescent cougar in north east Pa, I almost ran it over, it still had spots on it.

Edited by zigoapex

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TexasTracker

I can't remember where I came across the picture, but I recall seeing a large buck the was lodged atop a TELEPHONE POLE. It was seen by several people and someone managed to go up there and inspect the deer. Apparently, the animal was struck by a train and thrown atop the pole. The railroad tracks were some 50 feet away... a very strange sight to see in the middle of nowhere for sure..

Not that this contributes to the conversation at all. I doubt anything could have "thrown" the deer up there.

If cougars drag prey up into the trees (and I believe they do) it would probably be for the same reasons that large African cats do. It doesn't keep all the other carnivores away, but it keeps many from having access to the kill. In Africa, the hyenas are unable to climb. In North America, I would suspect that canids (wolves and coyotes) would be unable to get up there as well...

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MikeG

It isn't just the hyaenas that can't get at a kill up a tree. Lions can't, and those pesky vultures can't either (they can only feed on the ground).

Mike

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TexasTracker

good points Mike.... I guess there are several scavengers that are kept from the kill in this manner..

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Guest

I havent visited this in a few days and thought it was a dead topic. This was seen by that woman 30 years ago, maybe not that long ago. DNR officials have debated wether they are here or not. A few have been seen and tracks found here in West Michigan. But 30 years ago??? Were game cams available then? We are going north in the next 2 weeks and love to wander the woods. I know BF are there so that doesnt concern me. But the cats and sometimes the wild boar, thats another story, I am not a hunter and do not carry a weapon.

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UPs

Finlander, there is a map published by the DNR that shows where the wild boars have been killed in MI. They want all of those escaped Russian ones killed. There may be a link to that map on the DNR web page, but it has been a while since I have seen it. Not sure what part you are heading to, but I recently read a peer reviewed article that documented cougar in a specific area of the UP as far back as the 60's. If you are gong to the northern lower, I am not too familiar with the area, but if you are going to western upper, just be careful as there are now many wolves in addition to the cats and bear. I have seen zero sign of any wild boar and the cats are mostly in the Hurons area, but are eventually going to disperse throughout the central and western regions, IMO.

The fall colors should be peaking in the next 2 weeks in the western UP and I will be up there to see them too. Also, bear hunters are running dogs now so keep that in mind. If you want any specifics, you can pm me. Have a good time and enjoy yourself.

I think the most likely reason for the deer in the tree has to be a big cat as others have confirmed they will do this. Although there were not many wolves 30 years ago, there were still many ground predators to compete with.

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Rockape

Wow, this is an interesting one. I agree it's most likely done by a big cat, but the fellow who investigated this, who is a "Wildlife Technician 2 in the Bureau of Wildlife" (whatever that is) think it was done by a person.

So, there isn' t any mystery about how the deer died. It died from an arrow wound.

How it got up in the tree is another story and I think Ward Stone and myself believe that somebody put it, some human, put it up there. We' re reasonably sure of that.

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BFSleuth

I can't remember where I came across the picture, but I recall seeing a large buck the was lodged atop a TELEPHONE POLE. It was seen by several people and someone managed to go up there and inspect the deer. Apparently, the animal was struck by a train and thrown atop the pole. The railroad tracks were some 50 feet away... a very strange sight to see in the middle of nowhere for sure..

Yes, I recall this story as well (picture below). It was likely thrown up in the air by the "cow catcher" in front of the lead engine. Although some folks thought an eagle may have been capable of lifting it.

post-1142-0-01004200-1347732203.jpeg

Watch this video starting at 5:10

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UPs

BFS.....was that a golden eagle? Pretty good hunting technique for those animals that hang out on steep mountain sides and use a controlled glide to the bottom. Those we're too heavy for the bird to lift up any distances, but still impressing. I am sure a large bird of prey can fly with a fawn, but not a full grown white tail as the ones by me are anywhere from 120-300lbs.

Very cool vid and tks for posting it

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BFSleuth

Golden Eagles (or the Asian equivalent) have been used for hunting (not sure if you would call it falconry) by Mongolians and other Asians for eons. You can Google "hunting with eagles" or search YouTube to see other videos, some are rather disturbing (such as eagles tangling with wolves). They are powerful birds. I think the deer on top the telephone pole wasn't a full grown adult, if I remember reading the stories (I could be wrong). I personally witnessed an eagle snag a king salmon out of Puget Sound, nearly getting pulled under in the process, but ultimately pulling it free of the water and flying away with it. That salmon had to weigh in the neighborhood of 20-25 lbs.

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UPs

From the video, it looks like that eagle could lift at least 2 times it's own weight and maybe much more, but that's just a guess. I had a bald eagle watching me fish on a very remote lake. I had to let a smaller walleye go and it was injured. The eagle came from across the lake and picked it up and when I was paddling the canoe across the lake, it flew right over me, almost like saying thanks. They have made a remarkable comeback in my area over the last 25 years or so and are common to see now. Witnessing something like that eagle snagging the salmon is something you never forget, much different than watching a video of it.

The deer on the electrical wire looks like a fawn and all dried up, very lightweight. The one in the V of the tree looks like an adult and probably over 120lbs live weight. Even if a human did this, there would be some type of evidence left such as a piece of rope or damage to whatever the rope was wrapped around. If the details of this are factual, nothing makes complete sense to me. Maybe the bow hunter pissed someone off and when he came back for the deer, someone was messing with him, but the way it was wedged in that V indicates it may have been dropped from above. Very strange.

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BFSleuth

The hunting forum discussion I found of the deer wedged into the tree noted that the deer had no signs of injury. An eagle dropping a deer would of necessity have puncture wounds from the talons. In cases where there aren't obvious wounds, then it becomes more of a challenge to come up with a way it could have gotten into the tree. Even a big cat would leave some kind of bite or claw marks I would imagine.

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Rockape

BF Sleuth. it did say the deer had an obvious arrow wound. You are correct that they saw no other sign of injury though.

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Cervelo

Here's my take on it

We know cougars and bear are in many areas that local Game Commission's have no reason or resources to deal with them because for the most part they want nothing to do with humans, and in reality are very little threat if left alone.

But guess what else is out there that's made a huge resurgence and vastly expanded its territory?

That also hunts in packs and would no doubt attempt to steal a kill from a lone predator?

Remember this big fella I moved out of the road within City of Richmond Va limits

dbf427c1.jpg

I think it's much more likley that a bear or cougar would adapt a new or unknown behavior than bigfoot is now assumed to have started hiding his kills in trees.

Why bother just walk to any highway and there's a buffet waiting for them ;)

As always it's been my pleasure to offer another "Whats it most likley" for your consideration :)

Edited by Cervelo

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