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Are Coyotes Killing YOUR Deer?

by Mike Willand 4. February 2011 04:53
Mike Willand

Deer season over? Maybe it’s time you grab a weapon and take a closer look at coyote hunting. They may be more harmful than you think.

Recent data collected by various organizations has come to the astounding conclusion that coyotes are much more responsible for the predation of deer than once believed. In fact, much more! Beating out not just the bobcat but the wolf even!

A female coyote makes a mockery of my mock scrape in late November.

Beginning in 2009, Mississippi State University researchers have been conducting a radio transmitted experiment over 350 square miles of the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in Menominee County.

During this study female deer, their fawns, and various predators including bear, wolf, coyote, bobcat, fox, fisher, and even badger were trapped and fitted with a variety of radio transmitters for tracking purposes. To date, 57 adult deer and 44 fawns have been fitted with these devices.

In a recently released study which dated from January 1, 2009 through August 31, 2010 this study showed that coyotes were responsible for 13 fawn deaths. Compare that to only 2 fawn deaths by wolves, 3 by bear, and an astonishing 9 by bobcats. Man was not entirely left out of this study either as 2 of the fawns died from vehicle collisions.

During this same time period among adult and yearling female deer, coyotes were responsible for another 6 deaths. Compare this to 3 by the wolf, and 2 by bear.

And this is not the first study of this kind. Several other states and organizations have begun or continue similar investigations into the role coyotes play in our ecosystem and in particular to that of the whitetail deer population. Similar results have transpired although all data is not complete.

Bowhunting.Com wants to hear your take on coyote populations near you. Do you feel they are a threat to your own deer herd? Is it time you took up arms against them?

As always, please leave your comments below. Thank you!

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