I recently read an article in the February 2013 Georgia Outdoor News that stated "Deer Hunters Blamed Poor Deer season on High Doe Bag limits and Coyotes. Ladies and Gentlemen, the high bag limits contribute very little to the reduction in the deer herd and fewer deer being seen on clubs per sitting. The #1 main reason for the lower deer numbers is the explosion of the Coyote population and Bobcats. I read research papers and thesis by Government and Universities all over the country that validate this fact. The bottom line is that no one that I have talked with in a deer club has an ongoing coyote removal program in place to remove these predators from the property. In fact, I am very surprised that the clubs that have a Wildlife Biologist on staff do not have an ongoing predator removal program. Your QDM program is not the best it can be without one....period. You can spend thousands of dollars each year on food plots, cutting, culling etc. but when Coyotes are killing and eating 75% of the new fawns born, you are basically wasting your hard earned money. Much of that money is winding up as coyote scat on your logging roads. Let me tell you what I hear from the hunters:
- "We just shoot every one we see". The problem with this mindset is that you are probably only seeing 1% of the actual coyote population and shooting them is educating the remainder to go nocturnal and move at night. Research all over the country for years has shown that the most effective management tool we have is Targeted Trapping. To manage the predator population it is very important to have a Professional Wildlife Control Trapper(NOT A FUR TRAPPER) to come in on a yearly or two year basis and take coyotes out of the population. If you have this done immediately after deer season ends on Jan. 1, studies show you will have a fawn population explosion that year, buck and doe, and you will have more deer live to maturity.
- We don't hear any coyotes on our property. Coyotes are very adaptive predators and will at times not be vocal. Just because you don't see or hear them does not mean that they are not there. They are there, they are everywhere, even in the cities of Chicago, and NY. I have taken many out of a section of woods directly behind Stonecrest Mall in Lithonia.
- We don't see any carcasses from coyote predation. Most times coyotes drag their kills into very heavy brush to feed and to keep the buzzards off of them.
- "We can't afford the cost of Trapping our Coyotes out." Personally, I do not see how you cannot afford to do so. Budget for it as you would any other expense. Each member pays an equal amount for the service. Just add it onto the cost of the membership. Remember, removing coyotes benefits the deer herd as well as the turkeys and rabbits.
- "just remember this fact, COYOTES ARE KILLING YOUR DEER 365 DAYS A YEAR, 24/7." So now can you see why you are seeing fewer and fewer deer? Most of us do not even think about this in the off season.
The Coyote Breeding Season is now here. In addition to the coyotes you now have on your property, you can add another 5-8 more with the birth of the new pups in April. 10-16 more coyotes if you have two family groups on the property. At this time, the breeding pair will begin to kill every animal they can find to feed them. They are the most aggressive this time of year. It is a time of fawn and deer slaughter. Since a breeding doe typically gives birth to a buck and doe fawn, how many potential trophy bucks that could be walking your property are being consumed by these predators? I ask you to think about this and seriously consider having a Professional Trapper come in and clean house every year or so. Then, the money and efforts you spend on your club and deer herd will be much, much more effective and your deer herd will increase exponentially. I will be glad to answer any questions deer club presidents or members have on this issue. You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit my website at......www.easternwolferscoyotetrappers.com