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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Conservation officers in southwest Alabama have been calling for limiting the antlerless deer bag limit for several years. Although many hunters may blame the apparent decline on the liberal antlerless deer limits, the rise in coyote populations may be another major factor affecting deer numbers.
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Coyotes Blamed for Declining Southern Deer Herds:


"The Journal of Wildlife Management - Deer populations are declining in the southeastern United States, and coyotes may be contributing to this decline. Although cause-and-effect studies have not been conducted, the expansion of the coyote's range and its increasing numbers have coincided with the decline in deer. Wildlife management policies, such as limiting hunting of deer or manipulating habitat to ensure greater fawn survival, may therefore need to be adjusted."

http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/1278045202u9wk4szshbk

http://www2.allenpress.com/pdf/wild-74-05-929-933.pdf

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What are your observations on deer decline in your area?

Could the rise in the wild/feral hog population also be a contributing factor in declining deer numbers?
Since hogs will eat any new fawn they find, an increase in the hog population could have some impact on fawn "recruitment."

Ralph
 

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You Might Not Like It,BUT.......

........my opinion is this. Hogs are not the problem. Around extreme NW Florida there are hogs but not enough to be a real bother unless you have a potato patch along the edge of the river swamp.

Coyotes are the problem if you ask me. BUT not the main problem. The main problem is the hunters. Hunters like are in my club and several other clubs in the local area. If this is just a sampling of all clubs,then the hunters in all clubs are the problem.

Our club has about 7000A. Each person is given an area. My area is about 180-200A. During last deer season(and before,and after)I saw coyote prints up and down my road leading to my plots and shooting houses. Every morning...new prints. I saw fresh prints this AM on the way in to work on one of my houses.

Talking to our other members during hunting season and at club meetings I always suggest a coyote hunt(a club hunt). Offer a prize for the biggest,the most,etc,etc. For each yote tail you give to the club president you get $10 taken off your yearly fee. If you kill 10,15,20 per year your membership is free. Any kinda stuff like this will(would) cut the coyote population down to size.

NOBODY hunts yotes on my club except me. Some of the deer hunters even mentioned that they saw a yote during deer season and didn't shoot him. I have killed 7 since the end of deer season in Feb. Nobody else has even hunted. I have asked other members if they have a coyote problem over on their end of the club. They say,"YES!". I ask,"do you actively hunt them ? They look at me with that duh.....huh..... look.

Coyotes are the same as hogs. The people(hunters) that whine about their populations are the hunters that do not hunt them. Frankly I'm gettin' kind tired of these whiners. They either need to hunt 'em or keep their damed mouth shut.

And yes,that's how I really feel.---pruhdlr
 

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I've heard a few educated thoughts on the results of coyote predation on the deer population down my way, and they seem to point to "more deer, more coyotes, and fewer deer, fewer coyotes" They are just a parasite of the food chain, and I don't see how they can have that big of an effect.
Sometimes, deer density will foster desease which will thin the herd down to size in a hurry. In the Texas Hill Country, during the fifties, there were not many deer due to bucelosis desease, and once the desease ran its course, the population shot up to where it is now around 1 deer per 5 acres along the rivers.
I'm sure coyotes get their share of the fawn crop but they eat a lot more mice and grasshoppers then anything else.
That's just an old coyote hunters opinion.
 

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You guys think coyotes are bad?

I lived in CA during the 80's and 90's, during which time the moratorium on mountain lion hunting was imposed. Where a pair of coyotes can easily take down a fawn or weak/diseased deer, a single mountain lion can kill as many as one deer per week and pairs have been documented to kill well over 100 in a year's time. Unchecked, they will hunt a deer population down to where they will have fewer kittens in a litter, because the food supply just isn't there. Before man became the dominant predator, eliminating our "competition" and controlling game populations with hunting, this was nature's way.

The biggest challenge with coyotes is how much they can limit recruitment of fawns. What really surprises me is how much money people are willing to spend to hunt deer, while at the same time showing no interest in hunting coyotes (which is way more FUN!) when that very critter is limiting how effective they'll be in the deer stand next fall! It's a self-serving way of having a great time in the outdoors while also improving what you paid cash money to do. Definite win-win, as CVC944 pointed out!
 

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There was an article in one of the Virginia papers that stated 80% of the fawns that died in western VA were due to coyotes. They are real hard on both the fawns and turkeys around here and it seems it gets worse every year.
 

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In South Carolina the drought has been the biggest factor, I think. I am sure 3 fawns is common this year. I think numbers will cycle up again. Will this just mean more food for yotes? I don't know. I have never shot a yote but I will shoot all I see. Of coarse i shoot all the deer I see, also.
 

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There was an article in one of the Virginia papers that stated 80% of the fawns that died in western VA were due to coyotes. They are real hard on both the fawns and turkeys around here and it seems it gets worse every year.
I would be very interested to see how that gathered this data. How did they sample enough dead fawns to arrive at this figure? Not saying they would not have an impact but I am very skeptical of this number.
 

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If the coyote population is high, they will get brutal on the fawn populations. I was using a fawn in distress call not long ago and had 3 yotes come in.
 

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During the times after deer season(post Feb)I pretty much use a fawn in distress from my FoxPro Digital. Our club is a little less than 7000A so I can hunt the whole thing without fear of seeing another hunter. But the yotes do get call shy so the calling is broken up with the use of cottontail in distress and woodpecker in distress.

The club is so big and the access roads are so plentiful,this is why I do not understand why we do not have more hunters AFTER deer season. Calling the roads is easy work. I simply find a road that goes into the wind...then walk and call. The yotes love to run the roads and this is where I usually make my shots from.

I have only been in the club for two years now and it does seem that the deer heard is getting somewhat smaller. During deer season they seem very shy and extremely alert also. They do not seem to stay on my plots for very long even if they have the draw of sweet potato's. ---pruhdlr
 

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In my opinion, yes the coyotes are the biggest reason for the Decline here in Georgia, along with the destruction of habitat. Also in my opinion the destruction of habitat is playing into the hands of the coyote.

I have heard it all, talked to a guy last season who told me the entire hunting season, he saw 7 coyotes, when I asked if he shot any, he said no, was to affraid to spook any deer that might be around.

Have also heard, didn't know you could shoot them in deer season. Dude it is open season on yotes year around here.


I don't get to hunt much anymore, and have only ever seen one in the wild, he came into a turkey call, and I fired at him, but he was much to far away.

I wish I had more time to hunt coyotes, there is a guy I know that gets paid by farmers here to come in an get has many as he can, at 25 dollars a confirmed kill.

That is my 2 cents
 

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Last year, I went on a hog hunt in Bond swamp NWR in GA. They open it it up for hunting 2 or 3 times a year for hogs. While deep in there, me and a friend saw two herds (of about 6 deer each) run by us. We stopped to watch as we were not allowed to shoot anything but hogs. Soon after the deer passed a very large yote came up next to us. He did not see us as he was focused on the deer. I wanted to pop him so bad. But my friend said no as we were on Federal land. So I know the deer are indeed being hunted by coyote. Called the Ranger station to ask about the shooting of coyotes in the NWR. They said my friend was right. Only hogs could be shot. I told them I thought they should change that rule.
 

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In addition to deer hunting, I enjoy rabbit hunting. Certainly the coyote population has an effect on the rabbit population, perhaps more so than on the deer population. I have been meaning to go out and try my hand at hunting coyote, but I just haven't found time this year.
 

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The same is true here in NE Alabama. There are no hogs here, but plenty of coyotes. They put a big dent in the turkey, cotton tail and deer population. I haven't seen them, but you can sure hear them.
 

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I have recently read two more studies down here in Texas where 1000 acre pastures were coyote proof fenced to stand as the control group against the natural pasture full of coyotes on the outside of the fence. The 1000 acre pastures first had all coyotes cleaned out.
As expected, by the third year, deer numbers inside the fence went from 1 deer per 11 acres to about 1 deer per 7 acres. Fawn crops were bigger, but by the fourth year, deer populations inside the fence started to decline. There were more natural deaths resulting from no food or deseases.
The deer outside the fence were healthier than the ones inside the fence.
We have about 1 deer per 10 acres where we hunt, and are over run with coyotes.
On many hunts, I just need to drive around slowly on the ranch and will get shots at coyotes. I have seen them eat field mice in plain sight of grazing deer.
Coyotes will eat fawns if given the chance, but it would be harder for a doe to guard three fawns instead of one or two also.
The laws of survival take care of the overpopulation problem, and produce a healthier herd of deer.
There was a movie a few years back about a scientist that went up north to live among the wolves. It was thought that the wolves in this area were the reason for declining caribou numbers. But it was proven that all the wolves did was eat field mice all day long. That would seem like an easier meal to me. I wouldn't want to face a mad doe's front hoofs in battle.
Anyway, if your hunting area has declining deer numbers, and you think the reason is coyotes, then rest assured that the coyote population will also go down as well.
Anyway, I like old Wiley, they make a good summer target.
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Two Thoughts:

1. Are declining deer herds in many areas of the South a result of the convergence of high doe harvest QDM programs with the rise of coyote populations?

2. Is interbreeding with larger dogs, (coydogs), resulting in larger coyotes and an increase in wolf style "pack" hunting?
 

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As far as hogs go (mentioned earlier), I know of several places (swampy or otherwise close proximity to lots of fresh water) where the hogs are pushing deer out of their habitats. Hogs eat anything and everything and breed like crazy. Some fields down there look like they were tilled but it's hogs doing it.
 

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Coyotes are not to blame. The liberals who outlawed the fur trade back in the seventie are. In places I hunted as a kid where a coyote was never seen, they are now as common as any rodent. Places I used to go and scare up 20-30 cock pheasants are now completely devoid of them as a result of the coyote population. Stretches of road where it was common to see 3-5 grey fox in a few miles at night are now totally lacking. I haven't seen a fox in at least fifteen years there. In fact, about a year ago, in broad daylight, I saw three coyotes in an alfalfa field, and within a mile two more in another alfalfa field. This in a place where I never saw a coyote once between the ages of about eight and twenty five.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Did Coyotes foil QDM programs in the South?

Did Coyotes foil QDM programs in the South?

Most QDM programs called for a higher doe kill. So it seems the convergence of these programs with the meteoric rise in coyote populations would be the main culprits.
 
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