February 6, 2023

Straight Facts: How Coyotes Impact Deer Herds

Clearly, removing predators can increase the number of fawns that survive. We did not “scientifically” measure the increased pleasure of hunters on this farm, but I will report that they were very happy. Why wouldn’t they be? I like seeing deer and work hard to help folks grow healthy deer. Predators, especially coyotes, eat a lot of deer. They also cause deer stress. Stress can keep those deer from expressing their full potential in weight, fawn production, and—yes—antler size!

Does this mean I think all coyotes should be killed? Heck no. I enjoy hearing coyotes; they are part of the wild experience I crave. However, as a biologist and hunter, I know it is important for predator and prey relationships to be kept in balance. This rarely happens “naturally.” There are plenty of records of predators doing extreme damage to prey populations. Most hunters have heard about the substantial decreases in some elk populations, where the wolf populations have been allowed to go unchecked.<<<Read More>>>