September 30, 2020

Because The Coyote is Coming

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More and more studies are showing that the presence of large predators affects deer populations. When there are too many coyotes, for example, in an area that will not support that number, coyotes raise the dickens with deer populations.

Reading this article (linked to below) I am reminded of no fewer than two articles I have written in the past. One was in July of 2010. It was actually a republication of an article written by Dr. Charles Kay for Muley Crazy Magazine called, “Predator Mediated Competition.” If you are not familiar with that term, I suggest reading Kay’s article as it will help to better understand the issue as well as the article I have linked to. In short, predators, such as coyotes, so long as there exists more than one prey species, could drive a certain species, say the whitetail deer or mule deer, into unsustainable levels and keep them there.

The second article was in reference to Dr. Valerius Geist who attended a gathering of hunters and game managers in Virginia concerned with too large populations of whitetail deer. The article I wrote was in December of 2010 but Geist’s comment was made in 1994.

…in 1994, Dr. Valerius Geist, while attending the annual Southeast Deer Study Group meeting in Charlottesville, Virginia, said the following as it pertained to a perceived “problem” among wildlife managers in dealing with too large populations of whitetail deer.

“Enjoy your problem while it lasts, because the coyote is coming. Once he’s here, you’ll miss your deer problems.”

It now appears that in places where once there was a problem with too many deer, the deer are disappearing leaving managers wondering what happened. Here’s just one example of that.

“On a 2,000 acre tract of land in north Alabama, biologists at the University of Georgia’s Deer Lab compiled a different study. In the area 22 coyotes and 10 bobcats were removed before fawning season. Fawn survival increased by 250 percent.”

“An Auburn University deer study showed that trapping and removing coyotes and other predators improved fawn survival in that area by about 80 percent. The University of Georgia deer researchers analyzed 353 coyote scat samples from two public hunting areas. During the fawning time, coyotes switched almost exclusively to fawns for food.”<<<Read More>>>

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