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Stories from the field

Since last September I’ve been having troubles with my Bushnell trail camera.   After one year, the infared pooped out.  So I sent it in under their 2 year warranty.  Finally after 6 weeks, they sent me a replacement.  But come to find out they’ve been having troubles with their 2010 models and my replacement was defective.  So they sent me another replacement, which also was defective.  I decided to wait an extra six weeks for their 2011 models.  Finally one arrived last week and I’ve been anxious to use it.

The other day I came across an odd deer kill at the meadow/forest interface.  The deer, lying on its side, had all its fur torn off on one side, a hole in its ribs, and its organs eaten out.  Its head was missing and no where to be found.  Other than that it still had lots of meat on it, the rumen was still there and it didn’t show any disturbance in its hindquarters where wolves and coyotes usually bring an animal down.

Only a hole in the ribs and the organs were eaten

The days are warming up and I’ve been sure the bears are out and about even though I hadn’t seen any sign yet.  A neighbor five miles down the road saw a grizzly last week.  I put my third replacement trail camera on the carcass and left it there for a week.  I didn’t want to disturb it much as I was afraid of running into a bear.  When I finally approached to check things out, I took my bear spray.

Lo and behold, the carcass was completely gone.  Nothing left.  I went to retrieve the trail camera and the infared cover was bashed in, like it had been pummeled by a rock.  This was perplexing.  Could a person have moved the carcass, then sent me a message about putting my trail camera on it?  Sounded weird but why would an animal move the carcass and bash my trail camera?

Bear eating my trail camera

The SD card was still in tact so I loaded the movies onto my computer.  I figured maybe my last photo would be the photo of the person who vandalized my camera.  Well it was there alright.  The trail camera terrorist was a bear!  (TO SEE THE WHOLE VIDEO WITH SOUND GO TO HERE)

Oddly, he decided to mess up the camera first before dragging the carcass up the hillside and far away as possible from my dogs on the other side of the meadow.  Bears are a curious lot and this just goes to prove it.  I’d been thinking it was some malicious person when it was just a curious bear, or maybe a smart one who didn’t want to be on camera.  So much for the new trail camera.

I don’t think the bear is the culprit who killed the deer, and I’m still wondering about that.  In the meantime, I better order a bear proof model for my next camera.

Bear ambling along. Is this my bear?

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One Response

  1. Perhaps you should be thankful that you weren’t holding the camera at the time. I know you saw no marks where a wolf may have taken the deer down, but I saw on a documentary about wolves that the pack leader gets the “innards” before the rest get to eat the rest of their kill.

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