Editors Blog

Study: Bears, Bobcats Decimate Fawn Crop

The study is far from complete — and the results are gathered from a very small sample size — but preliminary reports show that only 27 percent of white-tailed fawns born in northern Wisconsin live beyond 7 months of age.

These startling results are part of an in-depth look into deer behavior and survival being conducted by hundreds of volunteers and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The study, which will cost more than $2 million, is being funded through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.

The study is mainly being conducted in northern and east-central Wisconsin. Radio-collared deer are being tracked. Among the findings: Black bears and bobcats were responsible for 64 percent of all fawn mortalities in the northern region. A total of 78 fawns were radio-collared in the study, 30 in the north.

Fawn mortality in the east-central region was much lower, 38 percent. Predators accounted for 33 percent of those losses. Starvation accounted for another 33 percent, while vehicles claimed 17 percent.

For in-depth analysis on the Wisconsin study, CLICK HERE.