Skip to comments.The Other Deer Hunters
Posted on 02/09/2011 6:07:37 PM PST by SJackson
As whitetail predators, coyotes may be more destructive than ever.
If you think coyotes arent killing a lot of deer, youre not alone. Youre also probably wrong. Significant coyote predation has been documented in various parts of the whitetails range. But throughout much of the South, Midwest, and suburban Northeast, the coyote is a fairly new predator and is barely on the radar of many whitetail hunters and experts.
In over three decades of deer hunting and observation, I had personally come to view them as bumbling opportunistsmore Wile E. Coyote than the Big Bad Wolfwhen it comes to killing whitetails. But a pair of new research papers presented at the February 2009 meeting of the Southeast Deer Study Group, both conducted where coyotes had not historically been a problem, reveal a different story. Whats more, with coyotes now virtually everywhere whitetails are, and their numbers exploding in many areas, their impact is likely more lethal than ever.
The New Research In the first study, conducted by John C. Kilgo with the USDA in west-central South Carolina from 2006 to 2008, researchers implanted vaginal transmitters in pregnant does. When a doe gave birth, the transmitter was ejected along with the fawn, allowing researchers to capture the newborn deer and fit it with a monitor. When a fawn died, the monitor led researchers to the remains, where they collected DNA evidence to ID the fawns killer.
The results were jaw-dropping. Out of the 60 fawns monitored, 44 died within eight weeks. The killers were abandonment (one), unknown predators (two), bobcats (six), and coyotes (28 confirmed and seven probables). In other words, if you include the probables, coyotes accounted for 80 percent of all mortality.
The second study was conducted by Brent Howze and Robert Warren of the University of Georgia on a 29,000-acre area of the Peach State with a low fawn-to-doe ratio. To determine whether predation was causing poor fawn recruitment, researchers removed 23 coyotes from an 11,000-acre study block from January through August 2008. On a 7,000-acre control block of similar habitat, no predators were removed. In the fall, camera surveys showed a meager .07-to-1 fawn-to-doe ratio in the control area. In the zone where predators had been trapped, however, the ratio was a vastly better .72-to-1.
Coyote predation is the big issue right now, declares noted University of Georgia deer researcher Dr. Karl V. Miller, who supervised the second study. Its something we must take more seriously in whitetail management going forward.
So what can you do? First, aim for a balanced buck-to-doe ratio on your property. It ensures a short, intense breeding season, which results in a short, intense fawn dropand that narrows the window of opportunity for coyotes to kill young deer. Second, encourage grassy, brushy, young growth so does can drop fawns in comparatively predator-safe cover. Third, if you notice an upswing in local coyote numbers, you may want to decrease your doe harvest. Finally, become a coyote hunter. Youll help keep predator numbers in check, and have a lot of fun, too. .
Where we live, being able to reach out the window and club a deer with a claw hammer has taken the fun out of hunting.
“But throughout much of the South, (Midwest, and suburban Northeast,don’t know about those areas) the coyote is a fairly new predator and is barely on the radar .”
These suckers will tear the hell out of a watermelon patch.Kill them all.They’re all over the place down here.They love watermelons; hint.
Coyotes go hand in hand with fawn predation, more coyotes, fewer fawns make it to summer. Lots of attention has been focused on predators in WI and the disappointing deer population the last couple years. The harsh winters in 08-09 also had an impact. One issue I've not seen addressed is the packing up of coyotes, which of course is purely anecdotal the DNR not identifying it as an issue. One coyote, a threat to deer, three or four, a bigger threat. And if they're not packing up, why at night in winter or spring can I hear them yipping at me from three sides. Aggressive democrats pursuing my vote?
They forgot to add wolves and bears into the mix we are not in short supply of them in Northern Wis and may other places.
I live about 15 miles west of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I walked outside the other night and heard coyotes howling....it was a little unnerving. I’ve got chickens and I’ve got a shotgun and if I see a coyote it’s not going to be alive long.
I agree with your sentiment, but walking at night, you probably won’t see em.
Yeah, doubt bears are an issue with deer, they’ve been around forever. Wolves, goodness, the DNR is only recently admitting their resurgance, and I suspect they’re an issue.
They come right up to the farmhouse. I have apple trees next to the house and when my kids were babies I went out one night to yell at them to shut up.
Two just looked at me as if sizing me up. But before my temper took over, my English mastiff, who had come out behind me, went past me faster than I have ever seen it move. There was no doubt nothing would be left of those coyotes but smears in the dirt.
They took off with a two hundred pound dog hot on their trail. They aren’t stupid. I didn’t see or hear of a coyote on my side of the lake for months.
Not having a gun or a hunting license, I’ve tried to stone deer to death. Doesn’t work. They just stand and look at me as they munch my prized hybrid tea roses. Have at ‘em coyotes. Be my guest.
Welcome to our world.
Down here in South Texas, Coyotes were here before people. And they ARE smart, nasty, tenacious, and audacious. I’m not sure they are that much of a threat to wildlife anymore. They’ve figured out that eating is much better in the city and they are rapidly moving in (apparently Fluffy is easier to hunt than Bambi).
I’ve seem them walking along the street, in broad daylight, almost as if saying, “what are you going to do, start shooting and get a ticket?”. Outside of killing them, there is not much you can do to get rid of them.
I am in Arkansas and have seen the coyote population literally explode over the past five to six years. They are taking a lot of deer, I can certainly attest to that fact.
Anyone use nighttime wildlife cameras in their yard?
Someone once told me: If you decide to hunt coyotes then make sure you get a good look before you shoot. You don’t want to walk up to it and find that the “coyote” has a collar and tags.
Heard a whitetail hunter this season tell of killing a deer and a bobcat after the deer and then a cayote after the bobcat. Predators are in abundance as are the deer
I live in Jenison and I have 5 acres in the back yard. I have coyotes right in the middle of Jenison. They are all over the place over here. I have had them with their nose on my slider door and my cats hissing at them. Almost got one last year with my .17 Ruger. I also have 10 acres in Hopkins and had one follow me all the way to my truck at about 1 am. I thought it was my uncles dog until I got a flashlight and hit it with the beam....and then my .40 cal.
If you have them.....and you know where they will be, kill em. They take cats, small dogs, pheasants, ducks, and lots of deer.
I see signs for missing cats and dogs in my neighborhood frequently. The prairie dogs are faster, so the coyotes (and foxes) go for easier food.
Deer hunting in CA sucks. I have to travel to CO to have any luck. Too many predators here. Mountain lions are protected and can’t be shot.
To paraphrase a recent President, it depends on the meaning of what yard is.
We have a coyote pack in our area. We’ve seen some tracks in the snow this winter but it’s been several years since they were back in our woods howling every night.
I think a serious danger this article doesn’t mention is that in parts of the Northeast, which has only recently been overrun by coyotes, they have cross-bred with wolves. What you get from that is a pretty dangerous animal.
Luckily, our dogs seem to keep them away from the house.
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