Predators while butchering

Pgohil

Senior Member
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Feb 16, 2018
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117
Going at it solo this year. Big worry for me is a late evening kill that results in butchering at dusk and or at night.
No grizzlies in my area, but plenty of black bears, wolves and lions.

What can I do to keep myself and my kill safe while I work on it in darkness or near darkness?

Thanks
PGohil
WV

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coop22250

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Dec 19, 2016
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Palmer AK
Only problem I ever had was helping a buddy get a goat on the Kenai. Nasty hole, decided to drop all gear including rifles on the lip and drop in light. Got down there and a huge black bear came up over the hill at about 100 yards. We started waving our knives and yelling, he stared them ambled off around the corner. I think it was just an accident, he stumbled onto us.


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Pgohil

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Feb 16, 2018
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117
Gutless for sure! I still think it'll take me alone 2.5-3 hrs start to finish.... To do a proper job of skinning, deboning , and getting all the meat into game bags, then move those at least 100 yards from the carcass.

Hell a deer usually takes me an hour!


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mt100gr.

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Jan 29, 2014
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If it's not risky, build a good fire. Keep your head up and take plenty of breaks to look around.

One thing to keep in mind - all those guts sloshing around as you work the carcass over can make some spooky sounds. No joke. I was butchering an elk in the dark two years ago and there were a few guttural gurgles that had me reaching for my Glock.

Go gutless for sure and keep your imagination in check.

Good luck.
 

5MilesBack

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Colorado Springs
I've never really given predators a second thought while breaking down an elk in the daytime or at night. I find the meat jays to be a bigger nuisance.
 

mt100gr.

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Meat jays that leave these behind can be more than a nuisance. That's an insulated size 12.

Being alert and aware is your best defense. I am more concerned with finding a grizzly at my meat cache when I come back for a second load than I am about having one happen upon me working up a carcass.
20171112_131300-1.jpg
 

Kevin Dill

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Aug 26, 2014
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I've never elected to continue butchering in the dark in serious grizzly country. Part of one's bear defense (and the biggest part if we're honest) is the ability to see the surroundings and any incoming threats before they arrive. A headlamp helps but leaves a huge amount to be desired. The way I see it, butchering in the dark basically leaves a guy completely at the mercy of luck. Of course the odds are you'll have no issues. If the odds don't favor you....there's very little you can do except hope to get out of a close encounter without injury.
 

Kevin Dill

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Aug 26, 2014
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In 2009 I encountered the bear in the following pictures. I had been extremely sick to start the hunt, but 3 or 4 days in I managed to struggle a few hundred yards from camp and get set up. Several caribou passed my position, and then this guy showed up. I was astounded by his bulk. He was way too close to mess with pictures, and i had a revolver in my hand anyway. I watched him for 5 minutes and then he faded away. I hunted that camp twice in consecutive years and that's the only time I ever laid eyes on him. The pictures came from a game camera set up by a friend who killed a moose nearby and set some cameras to watch the carcass. The bear came at night. I edited the lighting on the first picture which is why it looks like a daytime image. To the best of anyone's knowledge and abilities, this bear was never seen anywhere close under daylight conditions after my experience.





fwiw, I guessed this bear at being a minimum 700 pounds and that was in 2009. A couple guys with more bear experience than mine thought he would easily push 800 (or more) and have some sort of phenomenal skull measurements, which is something I pay no attention to. My whole point sharing this is that you never know what's out there doing it's best to keep a low profile until darkness. Then it's time to eat and guess who has the advantage.....
 

mt100gr.

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Location
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In 2009 I encountered the bear in the following pictures. I had been extremely sick to start the hunt, but 3 or 4 days in I managed to struggle a few hundred yards from camp and get set up. Several caribou passed my position, and then this guy showed up. I was astounded by his bulk. He was way too close to mess with pictures, and i had a revolver in my hand anyway. I watched him for 5 minutes and then he faded away. I hunted that camp twice in consecutive years and that's the only time I ever laid eyes on him. The pictures came from a game camera set up by a friend who killed a moose nearby and set some cameras to watch the carcass. The bear came at night. I edited the lighting on the first picture which is why it looks like a daytime image. To the best of anyone's knowledge and abilities, this bear was never seen anywhere close under daylight conditions after my experience.





fwiw, I guessed this bear at being a minimum 700 pounds and that was in 2009. A couple guys with more bear experience than mine thought he would easily push 800 (or more) and have some sort of phenomenal skull measurements, which is something I pay no attention to. My whole point sharing this is that you never know what's out there doing it's best to keep a low profile until darkness. Then it's time to eat and guess who has the advantage.....
Good granny, that's a big bear.

To be clear, the night butchering I mentioned above was with a partner and a big fire. Still a risky endeavor in grizzly country, no doubt but we did what we had to do and got gone. My elk had piled up into a downed log and there was no moving him whole. I had just listened to a buddy's story about leaving an elk over night only to lose some meat around the hind quarters that didn't cool quickly enough. I wasn't going to lose any meat when I was already there with a knife.
 

FlyGuy

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Aug 13, 2016
Messages
1,147
Location
The Woodlands, TX
In 2009 I encountered the bear in the following pictures. I had been extremely sick to start the hunt, but 3 or 4 days in I managed to struggle a few hundred yards from camp and get set up. Several caribou passed my position, and then this guy showed up. I was astounded by his bulk. He was way too close to mess with pictures, and i had a revolver in my hand anyway. I watched him for 5 minutes and then he faded away. I hunted that camp twice in consecutive years and that's the only time I ever laid eyes on him. The pictures came from a game camera set up by a friend who killed a moose nearby and set some cameras to watch the carcass. The bear came at night. I edited the lighting on the first picture which is why it looks like a daytime image. To the best of anyone's knowledge and abilities, this bear was never seen anywhere close under daylight conditions after my experience.





fwiw, I guessed this bear at being a minimum 700 pounds and that was in 2009. A couple guys with more bear experience than mine thought he would easily push 800 (or more) and have some sort of phenomenal skull measurements, which is something I pay no attention to. My whole point sharing this is that you never know what's out there doing it's best to keep a low profile until darkness. Then it's time to eat and guess who has the advantage.....
Well, thanks Kevin. I’ll try not to conjure up images of that giant bear next time I’m elbows deep in an elk. Day or night.


You can’t cheat the mountain
 

FlyGuy

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Aug 13, 2016
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Location
The Woodlands, TX
Non-Griz country I wouldn’t be too worried. But hunting solo your mind can get going.

I would just say to take your time and enjoy the process. build yourself a nice fire to help keep warm and give you a little extra light. Keep a firearm on you in a chest rig if that helps.


You can’t cheat the mountain
 

Wackedo

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
14
Following.

I’ll be in griz and wolf country this year and probably going solo at this point. I’ve never done gutless before, but this is making me think I need to learn how!


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