October 14, 2019

Understanding Coyote Behavior Can Contribute to Better Study Results

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Below I emboldened part of a statement found in the article I linked to. Anyone who has maybe just slightly more than a basic understanding of how and when coyotes prey on fawn deer, would know that this killing occurs within moments of birth. Coyotes are bright animals and territorial. They know their habitat. They learn where deer, a creature of habit, often fawn. They will, at times, lay and wait. Coyotes have a keen sense of smell and can often “smell” when a fawn is born and move in for the kill. These same senses can be attributed to other predators that prey on deer, especially fawns – bear, bobcat, lynx, etc.

I have a camp in Maine. Around that camp, for many, many years I have been witness to a female deer that has given birth to a fawn(s). I’m quite certain the current resident doe is a descendant of the first mother deer I saw years ago.

It is on more occasions than not, that I see her in the early summer, “fawnless,” but is a treat to spot her with little ones.

When I first built the camp, shortly after spending some time there, I learned where this particular doe would go to drop her fawn. So did the coyotes. Over time, the deer have made several attempts to find a place to fawn that is safer. What may surprise some people is that the doe moves to within feet of my camp and hides her fawn there. After a week or two, when the fawn is quite capable of getting around, they disappear into the deeper forest, seldom to be seen again.

In association with this event, I am now seeing coyotes around my camp lot where I never did before. This is not a coincidence.

“These studies used a method that allowed fawns to be captured and collared at birth. Researchers did this by capturing adult does in the summer or fall and implanting a vaginal transmitter. When she gives birth to the fawn, she also gives birth to this implant and it signals the researchers to run in and mark the newborn fawn. With this approach, researchers discovered a lot of predation takes place that first week. In fact, the first week is the worst for fawn mortality from predators, especially coyotes. They concluded that all studies done with captured fawns that missed the first week underestimated the total fawn mortality due to coyotes.”<<<Read More>>>

Share