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Coyote predation and deer numbers
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 Posted: Fri Dec 7th, 2007 11:31 PM
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Timberghozt



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Are there any factual studies on how many deer coyotes will kill a year and if they make an impact on deer herds?I ask because my uncle who owns a large area of land in the mountains of Virginia has told me he has seen much less in the way of new born fawns over the years as coyote numbers have moved eastward.I know they must kill some of the unlucky young and sick and old deer but I am really interested to see if they make a huge impact on deer herd numbers.



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 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 05:50 AM
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Mark V
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Gene - in my opinion, the impact of coyotes on whitetail herds is likely exagerated.

There is not questions yotes kill fawns.  However, considering that in Texas, the South and up through the northeast, whitetail are generally considered to be overpopulated, losing some fawns may not be such a bad thing in bigger picture.  I know the insurance companies would probably be happy:lol:

The biggest problem with yotes and whitetail is generally confined to areas where whitetail are being tightly managed and ranchers/hunters/biologists/etc hate to see their hard efforts and resources get wasted by a yote.  The other is in places where whitetail are struggling to build up a robust herd and predation isn't helping the matter.

Regardless, in my opinion, yotes are not much different than feral hogs.  Both cause a lot of damage, both breed easily with high survial rates, both have few if any natural predators to keep them in check and both are as adaptable as they come.  That in mind, shoot on site.  All we can really do is attempt to "control" them.

 



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 06:04 AM
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Timberghozt



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Roger I do tend to agree..
oh and btw,they do have one natural enemy besides the wolf...:wink:
ME:lol:AND MY 223:thumbs:



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 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 03:37 PM
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Mark V
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Gene - they, like pigs, fear my F250 :thumbs:



 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2007 06:18 PM
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The_Mountaineer



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I've heard in some studies that as much as half of the fawn mortality in some eastern regions is because of coyotes.  There's a few factors that come to mind when you talk about fawn mortality by coyotes. 

First, there is the particular subspecies of coyotes you're dealing with.  Eastern yotes are typically bigger with some of the largest ones exceeding 65 lbs.  One of our conference speakers was Tom Bechden and he had harvested one coyote that went close to 70 lbs. if memory serves me correctly.  The Western yotes are smaller.  I've heard lots of rumors as to why this is - wolf blood, breeding with feral dogs, etc. etc..  However, I haven't seen a single DNA phylogeny study done with the eastern coyote.  It's probably out there but I haven't seen it.  That, to me, would be the most definitive answer as to why Eastern yotes are bigger.

Second, there is the social hierarchy of the coyote.  Being a newcomer to our particular area I have seen a lot of singles.  It is actually pretty rare to hear or see a pack in the area I work in.  Some of the social behavior stuff I've read on coyotes shows that sometimes the best thing to do to reduce coyote numbers is to leave them alone.  The reason being that the dominant male and female will stake out a territory and protect it.  Lesser, younger pairs will move in if the dominant dogs are taken out.  So, for example, if the dominant male & female occupied a square mile and killed off, you might end up with several pairs over the same square mile - in other words go from 2 dogs to 6.  Again, this is just an example.

I completely agree with Mark V's observations with those doing QDM or TDM.  In these systems, mortality of any kind is highly controlled and on certain animals.  Its very disheartening to these managers to see a 165+ B&C whitetail of 5 years age taken down by predators.  They'd much rather see a hunter take this buck.  While it is generally true that the "strong survive" it's more appropriate to say the most "fit" survive.  "Fitness" is a concept of ecology.  It's entirely possible that the most "fit" individuals of a population aren't the strongest.  They may be the least dominant breeders, but they might be the best coyote avoiders.  It's a long drawn out discussion but just think of Rocky.  Rocky Balboa was smaller than many of his opponents but he was a better fighter and won.  Same thing happens in the natural world, except with better acting :lol:

Last edited on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 06:19 PM by The_Mountaineer



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 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2007 07:22 PM
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Mark V
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Interesting info on he dominant pairs claiming areas of territory.  Thanks.

 

In Texas it is not uncommon to see them running single or or in pairs or trips.  But when the sun goes down they like to get together and party.  Noisy bastages.  :shameon:



 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2007 02:09 PM
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Timberghozt



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As some folks know especially at the BSB,I have long been a student of the coyote.I have hunted them for many years now and gotten fairly decent at calling them in.They really do fascinate me and are quite smart little critters that have a knack at eeking out an existence anywhere they roam.Their social structure is also very interesting and is a whole volume of learning in itself.I appreciate your takes on this fellas.:thumbs:



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 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2007 07:58 PM
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horsecollar
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We hunt in northern Mexico and as the rat and rabbit population goes so goes the coyote population. Wet years plenty...dry years not so much. They do considerable damage on the fawn crop but that's probably a good thing.  What disturbes me more is late in the rut and post rut the older more mature bucks are run down, hurt from fighting, etc. and become easy prey for the dogs.  Also older bucks are mostly solitary during the rut making them much more predictable with fewer eyeballs to look out for them than when they are in their bachelor periods of summer or even pre rut.

Mountain lions are a big problem also.  A mature female or male can kill a grown deer a week.  Here again old mature bucks fall prey to them since they're a solitary creature.  Good thing about cats are their range may be in the hundreds of square miles and they don't stay put long.

All makes for good camp-fire fodder.

Horsecollar

 



 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2007 08:01 PM
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Timberghozt



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Hey horsecollar..Good commentary bud!!:thumbs:Welcome to the board and hope to see you posting more around here..:thumbs:
Gene



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 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2007 08:07 PM
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horsecollar
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Thanks for the welcome, Gene.  I've enjoyed and learned a lot by reading through the postings....and what a good bunch of guys sharing their knowledge and hobbies.  I look forward to being a part of HB.

Pete



 Posted: Thu Dec 13th, 2007 06:17 AM
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Mark V
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welcome Pete from a fellow texan

 

Gene is also a fellow Texan but currently busy knocking the shit out of islamic scumbags :thumbs:



 Posted: Thu Dec 13th, 2007 08:37 AM
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Timberghozt



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Yep Pete,I am a transplanted Texan,My wife is a fifth generation Texan that comes from good pioneer stock that settled in central Texas,Both my boys were born in Texas.My youngest at Ft Hood.Just me and my daughter that don`t have Texas birth certificates..:thumbs:
You`ll find a lot of Texans on this board,so feel at home in these parts.I am half the world away at the moment..literally but I`ll be getting on back home to Texas as soon as they let me..
again,welcome to the board,there are quite a few fellas that call yotes on the board so you should be right at home around here.:thumbs:



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 Posted: Thu Dec 27th, 2007 12:29 AM
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Pecos
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I have to agree a lot with Horsecollar, where I live in TX, in good years, when rat population is up, coyote pop goes up and while they get probably their share of fawns they have not seemed to have made a dent in the deer population here, as from observing birth rates, very unscientific I might add, lots of does here produce twins.  So, one is likely to survive.

 

This year, so far, it seems like the yote population is down a bit, not hearing packs at night near as much, and the ones I see to and from work and I have killed have been extemely mangey and poor, not a clue what the problem is as we have lots of natural food due to almost double our annual rainfall spread out over the year.

 

Deer populations seem to be about normal, and they are in great shape.

 

Jest being an old rancher, I have no answers, jest questions as to why.

 

I might add, the Bobcat population seems to be up this year as I have taken 7 since first of year, they like to pick on my chickens.

 

Pecos



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 02:37 AM
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bigcountry
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lil late on this one also,but this past bow season i had 2 racked bucks,and some others smaller.2 bucks never came closer than 50yds on 2 different days.was not upset though rifle season was week away.thought for sure all i had 2 do was show up and i would be fillin out tags.well opening day 8:30 am coyote with doe head in mouth shows up i kill it.hunted area again on an off 3 more weeks never seen any deer after that.they  may not kill alot of deer but they sure as hell will keep them from coming back for awhile.been calling for them since called up 4 of them at night they held up about 160 yds.heres another kicker in wva,can only use rimfire at night,so i took a shot down the powerlines at them with a 22 mag.was like pissing in the wind.to say the least was thick stuff might not have mattered what i took the shot with,probably would've missed.but think wva should allow lil bigger cartriges to dispatch yotes with.



 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2008 03:18 PM
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Ranch 13
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What happens here is the Game and Fish doesn't want to own up to how much loss to coyotes the deer and antelope fawn crops cause. If they did then they'ld be sort of boxed into a corner about coyote control and they don't want anywhere near that problem and I don't really blame them.

 What I do notice here on my place, when we're not aggressively killing coyotes, the antelope and deer fawn survival rates are almost non existant. It's not unusuall to go across the pastures on horseback in mid june and have them looking like bone yards from the dead fawns the coyotes have killed. They generally start out teaching the pups to hunt and eat quite a bit of what they kill, then they just take the liver and such, and then they just run em down and kill em for the hell of it. Not unusual for a herd of 30-40 does to only have maybe a deozen fawns by July.

 When we get after the coyotes hard , then fawn survival goes up by quite a bit. Plus its not just the fawns I've watched them run down and kill adult bucks and does during the winter.

For the record I'm one of those lousy ass ranchers, but I could give a shxt less whether or not concerned sportsmen got something to come out and kill,just so they can blow hard about the horns they got on the wall  or not. I do however believe the healthy biggame herds indicate healthy range land, and it's nice to have something around , for folks to come hunt, and take home and enjoy the meat during the course of feeding their families during the winter.



 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2008 04:45 PM
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The apache guide I contracted with on the San Carlos Apache Reservation has been working a research project in the mtns for the tribal conservation dept studying predation on their cattle and elk. The major  culprit is black bears taking down mature cattle & elk not mtn lions or coyotes.

Last edited on Tue Mar 4th, 2008 04:46 PM by sako06



 Posted: Sat Mar 15th, 2008 03:03 PM
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coyoteklr
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Trap and hunt coyotes and fox . don't do much denning as of late, but when i did found upwards of 10 fawn sculls in a den.   a friend of mine found 13 in a den...
mange usually takes care of overpopulation in coyotes saw alot of it in tx... and now i've seen blue tougne in deer around here in areas where pop. exceeds range area.
also notice that when coyote pop. goes up fox pop, goes down... they can't compete and they are a little on the stupid side especially the grays.. ghostdogs will kill them right and left...



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 Posted: Sat May 31st, 2008 04:53 AM
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SCSlim
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Idaho has always had wolves - they were never extinct here and were pretty much in balance with the food supply in their natural range, up in the panhandle, and  weren't having much impact on the deer and elk herds. All was well.

Then, a few years back, some forward-thinking Hollywood types thought it would be great to "re-introduce" Canadian gray wolves into Idaho (a habitat that they never inhabited). From just a few breeding pairs that were dropped off in the wilderness of central Idaho, they now number several hundred and have moved down within earshot of Boise. They have decimated the deer and elk herds (within the original meaning of that word) and generally made hunting antlered big game a much more iffy proposition than it used to be.

Well, the wolves have done so well that they're now off the ESL here and guess what? We'll be hunting them later this year! So, the top-end predator will step into the circle again and even things out, and the herds will probably rebound in a few years, and balance will be restored. I'm wondering how my cairn terrier will like that wolf rug.

We have grizzly bears here in Idaho (as do our neighbors in Montana and Wyoming). Always have. Their range used to include the great state of California, as well. Hell, they even got one on their state flag! I wonder if we should trap some of our grizz and let 'em loose in the Hollywood Hills - and the wine country. We should do what we can to restore the grizzly to California as a thank-you gesture for all their help getting us a huntable wolf population.

Last edited on Sat May 31st, 2008 04:56 AM by SCSlim



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 Posted: Sat May 31st, 2008 05:14 AM
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sako06

 

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San Francisco would be better so many huggie babies live there that's where the protection of mtn lions came from.

Last edited on Sat May 31st, 2008 05:21 AM by sako06



 Posted: Sun Jun 1st, 2008 08:59 PM
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coyoteklr
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I'm looking forward to hunting wolves also, however there is already law suits pending that will more than likely curtail the hunt for this year... They need to put a few wolves in central Park and the suburbes of the friends of animals and PETA people and see how they like it ....



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