School-Safe Puzzle Games

Math Puzzle: Hunting Deer

eer hunter math puzzle

Two hunters killed a deer and sold it by the pound in the woods. They had no proper means of weighing it, but knew their own weights-one 130 pounds and the other 190 pounds. They placed a rail across a fence so that it balanced with one of them on each end. They then exchanged places, the lighter man taking the deer in his lap, and the rail again balanced. What was the weight of the deer?

If you can figure this out, answers can be entered in the ‘comment’ section below. Will reveal Thursday.

18 Comments to “Math Puzzle: Hunting Deer”

  1. brianu | Profile

    147.692 lbs

  2. Falwan | Profile

    147.69 lb

  3. Falwan | Profile

    Hay there, Doc.:

    I could see other people’s comments before they are moderated.

    Look at this!:

    Math Puzzle: Hunting Deer
    brianu | Profile (beta) March 16th, 2010 – 12:52 am says

    147.692 lbs

  4. Shawn | PUZZLE GRANDMASTER | Profile

    Moment is force x distance, so I plugged in an arbitrary distance for the dad (A), and calculated how far away the son must be sitting (B). I then reversed their positions, added the weight of the deer (D) to the son’s side, and solved for D.

    1. 190*A = 130*B

    2. (130+D)*A = 190*B

    3. D = 147.69 pounds

  5. Mashplum | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    About 147.7 pounds.

  6. Falwan | Profile

    Now thay are gone!!

    I could only see my comments.


  7. Bobo The Bear | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    For the board to balance, length*weight must be the same on both sides.
    Writing the weights in parentheses, the first balance looks like this:

    190(130) = 130(190)

    Keeping the same lengths, but with the new weights, the new balance is:

    190(190) = 130(130+D)

    Solving this gives a weight of 147.69 lb for the deer.

  8. BlindCupid | Profile

    At first, the two hunters weight was balanced
    Since this could not be true, the rail must not be placed in the center, therefore a certain weight of the longer length of the rail in comparison to the shorter side is added to the lighter hunter (130)
    The rail is 60 pounds heavier on the left side.

    The two hunters switched place, so the weight of the longer part of the rail (60), on the left is added now to the heavier man who is now on the left also (190)and the deer is taken by the lighter man(130)
    190+60 = 130+ Deer
    250 = 130 + Deer
    250 – 130 = Deer
    120 = Deer

    The Deer is 120 pounds.

  9. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    I think the answer is 147.69 pounds, the relationship between the weights is close to 1.47 to balance in case 1, so in case to with lighter man with the deer in his back, you multiply 190 with the factor and substract the other man weight 130 and you get the weight of the deer, cool.

  10. michaelc | Profile

    Congratulations on the new site. Continuous improvement is always a good thing. It can only get better! :)

    About a 148 lb deer in a 130 lb man’s lap balanced over a fence on a rail with a 190 lb man on the other end? This is a picture I’d like to see!

  11. Blusummers13 | Profile

    147.7 lbs.
    The scale is weighted so that one side is about 46% heavier than the other.
    190+(190*.46)-130=147.4 The 147.7 above is achieved without rounding to 46% even.

  12. munna | Profile

    If ‘d’ is the weight of the deer in pounds, then:
    (130 + d)/190 = 190/130

    => d = 147.69 pounds

  13. joe | Profile

    Well using equilibrium of forces around a pivot and solving for simultaneous equations i got 147.69 pounds but I have been known to mess these up… :)

  14. Hex | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    190/130 = (130+W)/190
    W=147.692 lbs

  15. Hex | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    RK, Some comments still under moderation are available in the recent comments section!

    I see you took middle ground between releasing comments immediately and moderating them :-O

  16. RK | Founder | Profile

    Very good, 147.69 pounds.

    @Hex- not intentional, I promise!! :) The comments were showing up immediately on the ‘recent comments’ section as linked to on homepage. This should now be fixed I think.

    Also on homepage- a direct link is now available for ‘Your Profile’. This will factor in a lot more with the quiz module which is actually almost finished.

  17. MilkSnake | Profile

    What was the weight of the rail? (assuming that it was uniform)

    The answers so far appear to assume the rail has no weight (which is what the textbooks do). In real life if the rail were centered then the force from the weight of the rail on each side would cancel and you could make the assumption that the extra weight applied to each side is equal. Thus balance beams work in real life as long as they balance when zeroed

    However in real life with the rail off center the weight of the rail itself will introduce unbalanced force on the longer side which the suspended weight on the shorter side will need to compensate for. When sides are switched then the force must be made up by other object.

    I think the deer will weigh less then 147.69 lb answer from a zero weight rail. The heavier the rail the less the dear would weigh. As rail weight increased even futher it would seem that at some point when they switched side the 130 lb hunter plus dear could’nt get the other side of the rail off the ground.

    Sooo… was this a super dry 2×4, a pressure treated 4×4, a railroad tie or 20′ concrete pier?

  18. MilkSnake | Profile

    Maybe the problem here with the original question.

    It states “so that it balanced with one of them on each end.” It’s the “end” part that causes the problem. This forces the beam to be off center and thus it not be in balance itself.

    If this were changed to: “A beam if first positoned so it in balanced with no one on it. They then positioned themselves on the beam such that it is still in balance. Then exchanged places…”

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