October 23, 2019

Low Deer Numbers, But Plenty of Food in Northeast

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*Editor’s Note* – The description given to what is being called a bobcat kill of a deer, is very similar to that of a mountain lion – just saying. There are certainly more bobcats in New England than mountain lions, however, so long as predators like bears and bobcats are allowed to proliferate – bears mostly due to limits on hunting and trapping seasons and bobcats due to limits on trapping – don’t expect to see any great increases in the number of deer in these areas along with further reductions in hunting opportunities. (I might also add here that Maine is overrun with Canada lynx, another predator of the whitetail deer. So long as protections continue on the lynx, we can rightly expect further destruction of the deer herd.)

And on another note, it will be interesting to see what happens this year when it comes to winter ticks and moose. The so-called authorities have blamed climate change on the growth of winter ticks calling for a colder, longer, snowier winter believing this will kill off the ticks.

According to the same so-called authorities, they got their snowy, cold and prolonged winter last year and they are using that as the excuse of why deer populations remain low.

Will the ticks return full force or be significantly reduced? Whatever the case, there will be an excuse. I might predict that if a lessening of winter ticks isn’t revealed this winter, it soon will be as moose numbers continue to plummet caused by the abundant tick. As was said to me one day, moose managers don’t know what they are doing, refusing to keep moose numbers at healthy sustainable numbers and so “mother nature” had to do the job.

The hard winter in the northeast, and the heavy snow conditions well into spring, are the main causes of low numbers regionally. Does under stress produce lighter fawns, and weaker fawns are a boon to predators.

Connecticut is something of a field lab for predation studies. Just 15 years ago there were very few predators outside of deer hunters, now the state is crawling with record numbers of coyotes, black bears and bobcats. More than 80 fawns have been collared in the northwest Connecticut study, which let biologist determine the cause of morality.

“Everyone wants to point at coyotes, because they make such a ruckus, but in reality it’s the quiet killers, bears and bobcats. Especially bobcats,” LaBonte said. In January, state officials checked the spot where a GPS collar stopped moving and found a 70-pound fawn buried under snow and leaves. The cause of death? Telltale signs of a bobcat kill: slash and bite marks around the head and neck. “We uncovered the fawn and took pictures, then went back the next day and the cat had returned that night and re-covered the deer,” LaBonte said. “They’re amazing animals.”

Source: Low Deer Numbers, But Plenty of Food in Northeast | Field & Stream

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