Coyotes enjoying West Virginia Whitetails

Looks like coyotes are taking a bite – a pretty big one – out of West Virginia’s whitetail deer population.

Results from a graduate student’s research shows digestive tract contents in 60 percent of the coyotes examined in her study had fed on deer. West Virginia University grad student Geriann Albers conducted the study and presented her results at the Northeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies meeting.

“Coyotes in West Virginia are primarily consuming deer,” Albers said in this report by the Charleston Gazette.

The newspaper reported that West Virginia Division of Natural Resources officials commissioned the study. Coyotes and their impact on deer populations are hot topics throughout the deer management world, especially after about a decade of states and some organizations encouraging hunters to kill more does.

“Of course, we had no way of telling how much of those stomach contents were the result of predation,” Albers explained in the Gazette report. “There’s probably a good bit of it, but coyotes also scavenge road kills, eat remains of deer gutted during hunting seasons, and scavenge the carcasses of deer that die of winterkill.”

Read the full Charleston Gazette report by clicking here.