A Boatload of Coyotes


by Daniel E. Schmidt, D&DH Editor

Increasing coyote populations across deer country has everyone taking notice of these
astute predators. The above photo came across in an email chain this morning. I’m
not exactly sure where it came from; one note said South Dakota. In any event, a season
of coyote hunting like this in one general area certainly would help save at least
a few newborn fawns later this spring.

As John Ozoga reports in the March issue of D&DH, coyotes are one of the most
effective predators of newborn fawns in the Southeast. They’re at least as efficient
as black bears and far better than gray wolves. Certainly, given their current densities,
coyotes are potentially a critical player in whitetail population dynamics throughout
the Southeast.

“Clearly, if coyote-induced fawn mortality is causing the deer population to decrease
to less than favorable levels for hunting, managers must increase deer productivity
or reduce fawn mortality,” Ozoga reports. “In some cases, this might call for limiting
the harvest of female deer — which might not sit well with Southern hunters accustomed
to extremely liberal deer harvest regulations.”

Are coyotes affecting your deer hunting efforts? Please add your comments to the bottom
of this blog post.

To read Ozoga’s full report, refer to the March issue, which is now on sale at newsstand.