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Joined: 12/16/2006
Posts: 57
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

I hunt in WV and Va and it seems like the areas that are good for bear hunting are not good for deer. On the flipside, areas that are good for deer don't seem to have many deer. Bear are typically found in the higher mountains in these areas but these areas have relatively few deer. the majority of deer are found in the lower mountain areas where there are few deer. Is this typical of all areas? Has anybody found this same trend? Is it solely a terrain thing or do bear tend to run out other larger animals from their area?

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

I have a couple different bear areas and some have a few bears with lots of deer and some have virtually no deer (a few elk) and a ton of bears.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

Deer usually have about 1/2miles radius that they stay in, that's quite and area when you think of it. Bears are roamers and travel anywhere their nose will take them. A bear would much prefer a compost cart or a garbage dump than trying to persue a Deer. Fresh meat is not the prefered choice for bear, it doesn't smell bad enough.
The bear and deer can coexist in an area very well but if you have quite a few bears, the deer will move to less stressful surroundings, at least that's the arrangement they have where I live.

ADKBEAR's picture
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Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

Like hammer says bears are not big at taking down deer for food. The other side if this argument is that in areas where deer and bear co-exist it has been proven that black bears account for almost 90% of fawn deaths (I did not say that they kill 90% of the fawns, but of the ones that are killed bears kill almost 90%)
It is not a relationship where deer and bear compete for food or habitat so one is not inclined to force the other out.

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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

Yes bears will take fawns and they are also very hard on moose and elk calves in the spring.

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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

Well I guess it depends on the area................but we have lots of big black bear and lots of whitetail on our farm. We have shot both from the same stand. We actually have deer come in and clean up oats at our bear bait sites later in the fall when the bears have quit moving around much.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

The biggest influence is habitat. While there will always be some overlap, prime bear and deer range is substantially different. Bears prefer heavier cover with secluded feeding areas while deer will readily frequent open fields near busy highways. You'll find deer in open hardwoods even during hunting season while you'd never see a bear there. While bears will be found raiding a compost pile or someones garbage bin, you'll expect to see them more at night.

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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

Yes it definitely depends on the area. Where I live the biggest whitetail bucks stick pretty close to heavy bush and rarely are seen more than a few yards from cover and never out in an open field except at night. The big black bears.......old boars, also stick close to heavy cover, while the run of the mill black bear can often be seen out raking in the oats and barley in the farm fields during the fall.......out where the does, fawns and young bucks can be seen feeding.

I have not seen any difference here as the best habitat for big bears is where our biggest bucks come from. I have seen definite differences though in other areas I have lived in. There the best bear areas were definintely not the best deer areas.

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

A few seasons back. My hunting partner and I went up to the northeast units of Washington after some whitetail. One area we went usually had a good population of these whitetail but, this particular year we didn't see but a single young doe and that was on the road on the way out. Black bear sign everywhere and a few black bear.
I couldn't say if this is an indication but, it was a bit weird.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Joined: 09/24/2006
Posts: 21
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

This is interesting because, just this past deer seaon I was at a friends place hunting deer. He proceeded to tell me it was the worst year he can remember for low deer numbers.

He then explained that more bears have been seen than ever before as well. Including 5 just a couple days prior to us being out.

Coincidence or what????

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Location: Halcomb nb
Joined: 02/04/2007
Posts: 10
Does lots of bear mean few deer and vice versa?

I have often watched deer and bear feeding in the same field in the fall and I really dont think there is a problem with the two using the same area actually we bait a lot with apples and it is not at all uncommon to have both hitting the bait site regularly.

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