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Coyotes in the News, Again…

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February 09, 2011

Coyotes in the News, Again…

By Scott Bestul

by Scott Bestul

If you read other hunting magazines besides ours (it’s OK to admit it, because I do too), you’ve probably noticed a bunch of feature stories in the last year, all covering the impact coyotes have on whitetail populations in the southeast. If you’re wondering why F&S hasn’t been in this mix, it’s because it’s old news to us. We essentially broke the story in 2009. (Here’s the column).

So there...Dave and I are done patting each other’s backs and tooting our horns on scooping everyone.

But there’s some more recent news on the coyote-as-deer-predator that’s really caught my eye. Researchers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) are currently studying whitetail predation in an area rich with carnivores, both large and small. In a 350-square mile study area in the UP, whitetails are eaten by bear, wolves, coyotes, and bobcats. Preliminary findings indicate that, of these four primary predators, coyotes are leading the way in causing whitetail deaths. From this story on jsonline.com.

I find that fascinating, especially given the presence of two wolf packs in the area. Wolves have long been thought to be highly efficient deer predators, given their speed, size and ability to hunt as packs. Moreover, wolves have the reputation as coyote-killers, limiting populations of the smaller canines wherever the two share space. Perhaps this new study (and another, soon-to-start in neighboring Wisconsin) will shed even more light on not only whitetail predation, but how predators relate to each other. We’ll be tracking this research in the months to come.

 

Comments (13)

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from DSMbirddog wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

This will be interesting. The news article states 44 fawns were inthe study and 41 of them were killed one way or another. 13 by coyotes. That some staggering mortality for fawns considering what I have read.

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

I hate to go against the grain but I believe the effect the coyote has on the deer population has been blown way out of proportion over the last several years.

This study is a perfect example of why. If you come upon a dead animal in the forest, decayed and half eaten, if you can guess what killed that animal 20% of the time you would be doing really good. The results of this study are over 75% confirmed cause of death. I do not believe that to be possible. All animals are opportunistic and will eat what they find. This study only confirms that coyotes eat the most dead deer carcasses.

Another thing that stands out is this study was done in the UP and only the UP but the article says the result are reflective of the Upper Midwest. The UP is a very unique eco-system and should not be compared to the entire upper Midwest.

While I am sure there are many deer killed by yotes(mostly fawns) I feel overall the mortality has been greatly exaggerated due to studies such as these.

Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from njschneider wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

coyotes need to be harvested to keep population numbers at the right place just like whitetail. But very few people do it. In my area if they can't chase them with their trucks they wont hunt them. Leaving the majority of the population in the hills where deer numbers are the highest. Asking a farmer to call and hunt coyotes often leads to permission for hunting turkies and whitetail. I don't know why more people don't do it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

me and 2 of my buddies are going coyote hunting this weekend for the 3rd annulal mike plotner birthday hunt!

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Good Luck on the hunt there Mike Plotner! We all should be hunting coyotes. I'd rather have Bobcats around anyday!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Buckhunter, we both know that Ohio is loaded with coyotes and that our deer are doing more than OK. I hear them all the time and see them without even seeking them, yet there are more deer than I can shake a stick at.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

I'm from wisconsin. i've heard a lot of people here complain about these studies being a waste of money. many of the hunters in wisconsin have become very pathetic. the whining and crying by many because they actually have to work to see deer now is quite disgusting to me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Most studies by US F&WS have shown that the preferred prey of wolves are young moose. They'll take deer next. So I would guess that if the moose population is sufficient,then many of the deer in the study are very probably preyed upon by coyotes, especially if they are fawns.

Last year after I had just gotten to my deer stand, a coyote came by. I didn't shoot it, because I was concerned that the scent of a (dead) coyote laying 50 yards or so from my stand, would spook the deer. Since then, I've been told it wouldn't have bothered any deer coming through....still not so sure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brittle wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

wisc14 i'm also from wisconsin and I never hear people complain about studies and working hard hunting. And to say your own states hunters are pathetic means you aren't helping them become any better

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clintsurber wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Fawns aren't the only animals coyotes kill. There's also all the young quail, turkeys and calves. I hate to bring up wildlife studies but if 75% of the coyote population was killed out in one year, they would recover their numbers within a year. No matter how many of these varmits are killed, you will never make a dent in their population. So blast away!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cooldawg wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

In Georgia, hunters have been complaining about the deer numbers being down, heard they(DNR) were doing another test area to see the impact and numbers of these wily predators. Here's a link to an article that includes some info on studies done in the last few years.
http://www.kpcnews.net/outdoors/index.php?option=com_content&view=articl...
A few years back,fox hunters built pens in some areas to run fox. The dogs would eventually catch them, so they tried coyotes. The coyotes got out,So they are partially to blame for the proliferation or the increase. The pens weren't durable enough to keep them in or the maintenance wasn't kept up to standard. Usually you can hear them right at dark howling away here in middle Georgia.
Here's a 2006 article :
http://www.gon.com/article.php?id=347

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

where wolves are present, coyotes will have less of an impact on deer. either way, they will definately have an impact on rabbits

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Otter62 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Where i hunt in Northern Illinois we are seeing more and more coyotes and less and less deer. If you go foe a walk in the winter woods and look at the animal tracks you are almost hard pressed to find a cloven hoof print among all the coyote tracks. Although I don't actively hunt'yotes (I should) I shoot every one that gives me a chance in the rural area where I live (I love my Savage model 12 .223!). I also pop every 'yote that comes within range while while deer hunting. In my humble opinion I believe all deer hunters should. I've killed deer within an hour of shooting a coyote on two occasions in very close proximimity to the dead yote. In my experience I don't believe healthy adult deer are afraid of coyotes. I had a very knowlegeable hunter tell me that in the coyote attack on fawns scenario, they kill more buck fawns than doe fawns as the buck fawns will often turn to fight the coyote (bad idea) while the doe fawns follow momma and survive the encounter more often than their brothers. This apparently leads to pretty screwed up buck to doe ratios in some areas. Has anyone else heard of this? Coyotes are beautiful animals whose populations are way too high at least in my area and definitely need to be controlled. Nobody but us hunters are going to do it folks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

I hate to go against the grain but I believe the effect the coyote has on the deer population has been blown way out of proportion over the last several years.

This study is a perfect example of why. If you come upon a dead animal in the forest, decayed and half eaten, if you can guess what killed that animal 20% of the time you would be doing really good. The results of this study are over 75% confirmed cause of death. I do not believe that to be possible. All animals are opportunistic and will eat what they find. This study only confirms that coyotes eat the most dead deer carcasses.

Another thing that stands out is this study was done in the UP and only the UP but the article says the result are reflective of the Upper Midwest. The UP is a very unique eco-system and should not be compared to the entire upper Midwest.

While I am sure there are many deer killed by yotes(mostly fawns) I feel overall the mortality has been greatly exaggerated due to studies such as these.

Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from njschneider wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

coyotes need to be harvested to keep population numbers at the right place just like whitetail. But very few people do it. In my area if they can't chase them with their trucks they wont hunt them. Leaving the majority of the population in the hills where deer numbers are the highest. Asking a farmer to call and hunt coyotes often leads to permission for hunting turkies and whitetail. I don't know why more people don't do it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

I'm from wisconsin. i've heard a lot of people here complain about these studies being a waste of money. many of the hunters in wisconsin have become very pathetic. the whining and crying by many because they actually have to work to see deer now is quite disgusting to me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brittle wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

wisc14 i'm also from wisconsin and I never hear people complain about studies and working hard hunting. And to say your own states hunters are pathetic means you aren't helping them become any better

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Otter62 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Where i hunt in Northern Illinois we are seeing more and more coyotes and less and less deer. If you go foe a walk in the winter woods and look at the animal tracks you are almost hard pressed to find a cloven hoof print among all the coyote tracks. Although I don't actively hunt'yotes (I should) I shoot every one that gives me a chance in the rural area where I live (I love my Savage model 12 .223!). I also pop every 'yote that comes within range while while deer hunting. In my humble opinion I believe all deer hunters should. I've killed deer within an hour of shooting a coyote on two occasions in very close proximimity to the dead yote. In my experience I don't believe healthy adult deer are afraid of coyotes. I had a very knowlegeable hunter tell me that in the coyote attack on fawns scenario, they kill more buck fawns than doe fawns as the buck fawns will often turn to fight the coyote (bad idea) while the doe fawns follow momma and survive the encounter more often than their brothers. This apparently leads to pretty screwed up buck to doe ratios in some areas. Has anyone else heard of this? Coyotes are beautiful animals whose populations are way too high at least in my area and definitely need to be controlled. Nobody but us hunters are going to do it folks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

This will be interesting. The news article states 44 fawns were inthe study and 41 of them were killed one way or another. 13 by coyotes. That some staggering mortality for fawns considering what I have read.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

me and 2 of my buddies are going coyote hunting this weekend for the 3rd annulal mike plotner birthday hunt!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Good Luck on the hunt there Mike Plotner! We all should be hunting coyotes. I'd rather have Bobcats around anyday!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Buckhunter, we both know that Ohio is loaded with coyotes and that our deer are doing more than OK. I hear them all the time and see them without even seeking them, yet there are more deer than I can shake a stick at.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Most studies by US F&WS have shown that the preferred prey of wolves are young moose. They'll take deer next. So I would guess that if the moose population is sufficient,then many of the deer in the study are very probably preyed upon by coyotes, especially if they are fawns.

Last year after I had just gotten to my deer stand, a coyote came by. I didn't shoot it, because I was concerned that the scent of a (dead) coyote laying 50 yards or so from my stand, would spook the deer. Since then, I've been told it wouldn't have bothered any deer coming through....still not so sure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clintsurber wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Fawns aren't the only animals coyotes kill. There's also all the young quail, turkeys and calves. I hate to bring up wildlife studies but if 75% of the coyote population was killed out in one year, they would recover their numbers within a year. No matter how many of these varmits are killed, you will never make a dent in their population. So blast away!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cooldawg wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

In Georgia, hunters have been complaining about the deer numbers being down, heard they(DNR) were doing another test area to see the impact and numbers of these wily predators. Here's a link to an article that includes some info on studies done in the last few years.
http://www.kpcnews.net/outdoors/index.php?option=com_content&view=articl...
A few years back,fox hunters built pens in some areas to run fox. The dogs would eventually catch them, so they tried coyotes. The coyotes got out,So they are partially to blame for the proliferation or the increase. The pens weren't durable enough to keep them in or the maintenance wasn't kept up to standard. Usually you can hear them right at dark howling away here in middle Georgia.
Here's a 2006 article :
http://www.gon.com/article.php?id=347

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

where wolves are present, coyotes will have less of an impact on deer. either way, they will definately have an impact on rabbits

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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