Are Coyotes Negatively Impacting Our Deer Herds?

Discussion in 'Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards' started by Len Backus, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Here is a fascinating article and discussion over at BigGameHunt.net.

     
  2. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    I have seen it first hand here in New Mexico. Coyotes are way more active when the fawns are born. They are even out in the middle of the day looking for the easy meals. I have talked with many ranchers and locals around the area where I work and they all say that I wouldn't believe the change in the mule deer and antelope population from 30 years ago to now.

    I for one am a firm believer that every coyote killed gives the fawns a better chance of survival.
     

  3. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

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    Saw/see this happening as well. It is good/bad to see real data to prove what has hitherto been speculative.

    I am going to have to redirect my energy to significantly reducing the varmints population.
     
  4. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Well-Known Member

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    During 2011, coyotes killed 4 fawns on my property and an ajacent neighbors land; about 30 acres that is mostly wooded. I found 2 more fawns road killed. We are at a crossroad of two highways. I don't know what the space requirements are for whitetails; deer per acre or deer per square mile but losing 6 fawns (known) in a year seems like a lot.

    Another thing I noticed here is that the coyotes do occasionally stalk my Labs when I walk them on State land that is near me. I recently let the air out of one with a .45 that approached to within 40 feet or so as we were getting back in the car. It was acting cautious but not fearful. Now it just plays dead.
     
  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember where, but I recall one study that had 8 antelope fawns per 100 doe prior to control efforts, 88 after. Control is most effective if done in spring, as coyotes will fill back into an area, but fawns have a better chance when they are up and running. There is a series of game trail photos making the rounds of coyotes taking a mature buck.
    When your "wildlife" department begins asserting "poaching" is the cause of big game declines-start talking fawn depredation/survival rates, and you'll know in a couple of seconds whether your dealing with animal rights activist with a badge and gun, or a serious professional. We're paying the bill-demand better service and don't leave tips.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  6. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    One of the biologist here in TN told me that coyotes kill 40% of our deer fawns every year.
     
  7. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Dogdinger see's this first hand from his porch w/re to antelope fawns every year. I don't remember the details, but I remember him telling me he watched a herd of antelope a couple years ago and not a single fawn survived. He got a few of the coyotes, but not soon enough. He might speak up here and straighten out my facts.

    AJ
     
  8. Yotekiller

    Yotekiller Well-Known Member

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    I don't know much about fawns, but where I live the deer group up for the winter and the coyotes surround them like wolves to an elk herd. Last winter I was watching one deer herd of probably 100-150 deer. The coyotes were killing one or two full grown deer every week that I could see in the fields where the deer would graze. I don't know how many were killed in the woods where I could not see. In three days I killed 13 coyotes off a deer carcass they had taken down. In the evening on the fourth day I went out with my howler in that same spot and had 8 groups of coyotes howling at me all within 900 yards of where I had killed the rest of them. There is no limit to how many I could kill there. More keep coming in to prey on the deer.
     
  9. smallbutfierce

    smallbutfierce Well-Known Member

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    I pretty much looked up this site just for this reason. I wanted to build a coyote gun. I live in Maine, and found that that first study is still in play right now. I understand what the author is saying about the coyotes not hurting the population, but that is a statistics issue. The TOTAL deer might be growing, but in areas where they are suffering the coyotes are doing much damage. I drove through PA a month ago and noticed about 50 dead deer on the side of the road. You don't see that many road kill in a year here(it happens, you just don't see it). So my guess is that the herd is not suffering as bad as it is here, but then again I don't know what it was like 10 years ago. I hunted much of the state this year for deer, and I noticed way more coyote sign then deer. Also, the deer sign was only large deer. I could go on all day, but the truth is: the combination of excessive doe permits for the last 10 years, 5 years of harsh winters, sprawl/development, and an explosion of coyotes has led to a drastic real world decrease in population in areas of Maine. I have read countless articles saying that coyotes aren't the problem, but they aren't helping either. You manage what you can, and hope for a good winter. I know there aren't many of us hunters up here that want to put the effort, or have the skills to hunt coyotes, but I am making it my goal to learn this creature and make an effort to manage them in my hunting areas.
     
  10. Yotekiller

    Yotekiller Well-Known Member

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    I too joined this site because of my coyote problem, and thanks to everyone here my shooting ability, equipment, and number of dead coyotes has improved a lot.
     
  11. szeitner

    szeitner Well-Known Member

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    Up here we have had some severe winters this past few years as well. Deer have decreased dramtically due to starvation and depredation. When the deer bunch up (as do antelope), coyotes pack up and start picking them off. I have seen them work an antelope herd before, and it wasn't a pleasant sight to see. This year so far, we have taken 13 coyotes from one section (640 acres). That same section probably supported a handful of deer and even fewer antelope.

    Now with the wolf reintroduction, and their move eastward following the elk, it is going to get worse. We too have oversold licenses, but the state won't admit it, they don't want to lose the revenue....but if they're not careful, and fast, they will have no revenue, there will be no game left to hunt but predators.
     
  12. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure that in specific areas the coyotes take a heavy toll on the herds. It's not limited just to the fawns, they'll take on adult does and bucks as well. Some of our coyotes here in Washington are pretty big, strong, good looking dogs. I tend to zap them with my .25-06 deer rifle, although I really ought to give my .204 Ruger a chance one of these days. Suspect it would be kinder on the hides.

    Last spring, when the does were giving birth, I was hiking and saw a big coyote right on the edge of a herd of mule deer does a couple of hundred yards away. Why I didn't have a rifle in hand is beyond me - I had a .44 mag revolver, but the big yote was just too far away for me. He never left the edge of that little herd. I'm sure he was waiting for a fawn to be born... Have resolved to hike with a rifle this winter and spring.

    BTW - a .25-06 with 115 Bergers does a mighty fine job on coyotes...

    Regards, Guy
     
  13. dogdinger

    dogdinger Writers Guild

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  14. jamesmc2

    jamesmc2 Well-Known Member

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    While climbing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho last year we witnessed a big coyote chasing mule deer fawn. They were headed right for us. When the coyote saw us he gave up on the hunt and ran the other direction. Growing up I lived next to a government trapper who witnessed a group of 6-8 coyotes take down a yearling elk.

    Im sure coyotes impact deer populations, but they also control rodents and rabbits which plays into the ecosystem and vegetation loss.

    By far the best thing we can due to preserve mule deer populations is prevent further habitat loss. Just look at the impact the natural gas industry has had on the winter range of the Wyoming herd. You also see housing units going up on crucial habitat all over the west.