December 9, 2023

Shock! Predation Number One Factor in Deer Fawn Deaths

“In a 2003 study of fawn mortality, the Pennsylvania Game Commission captured and collared 110 fawns from an agricultural area and 108 from a heavily forested region. Nine weeks after capture, 28 percent of the farmland fawns, and 43 percent of the big-woods deer, were dead. Twenty-six weeks after capture, mortality rates were 42% and 55% respectively. And those numbers closely mirror to an ongoing fawn-mortality study in Wisconsin.

In other words, there’s close to a 50% chance that the fawn I saw wobbling down my folk’s driveway is not going to be alive by the end of November. Predation is the number one factor in fawn deaths (black bears and coyotes top the list, depending on the area, with bobcats taking a few), followed by “natural causes” (usually starvation), vehicle accidents, and finally, hunting.

Research like this is important, especially as predator numbers are generally on the rise across much of the nation. Bear populations are strong in the North, and southern biologists have been dealing with a coyote boom for years. It wasn’t long ago when the general attitude of game managers was to dismiss the impact of predators on deer populations. Today’s biologists have no such luxury and must factor this in when setting quotas for hunting seasons.”<<<Read More>>>


Coyotes Devour Deer Fawns: Picture and Story Authenticated

It was June 14, 2013 when I posted a short story with picture of nothing but a fawn deer’s head. I received the photo and brief story second hand but stated that the person sending me the information was a very reliable source. Here’s the link to the original story and the picture is posted below.


Photo by Christopher Bartlett

Just yesterday I received an email from Christopher Bartlett stating that he had discovered my blog post and wanted to verify that it was his experience the photo was his as well. His email read:

Hi Tom,

I recently saw your blog post where you directly quoted an email that I sent to friends on June 11, 2013 that included my photo of a fawn’s head. The story is authentic. I was conducting breeding bird surveys in Jonesport when I found the fawn remains and coyote tracks. It was a sobering sight as dusk set in. You’re welcome to freely share my photo. Please consider giving me photo credit when possible. And thanks for sharing great information about hunting and fishing in Maine.