Posts Tagged ‘coyotes’

Via Field & Stream here

By JR Sullivan

coyote conservation

Rumors of coyotes began circulating through the Southeast in the mid-20th century. Over the next several decades, the rumors became newspaper reports, and then roadside sightings. Still, coyotes remained mostly a curiosity. But in the 1990s, everything seemed to change.

“Suddenly, people were seeing coyotes in Georgia and North Carolina, and all over the Atlantic Coast,” recalls Michael Chamberlain, a dedicated deer hunter and professor at the University of Georgia (UGA). “Those were places coyotes weren’t supposed to be.”

Dog Days

Like many biologists in the Southeast, Chamberlain took notice of the coyote issue around the turn of the millennium. The Western predator was expanding beyond its strongholds, quietly scattering across the South. At the time, the greatest threat to deer in that region was their own overabundance, so the coyote sightings didn’t garner much attention. But in the early 2000s, the number of tagged deer began slipping in some Southern states; South Carolina saw a 23 percent decline between 2002 and 2005. Georgia’s deer take is thought to have dipped by 28 percent from 2001 to 2005, and Alabama’s annual yield dropped by more than 48 percent between 2004 and 2011.

Disease and more restrictive regulations no doubt played a significant role in the declines, but coyotes were also killing deer—more than many people realized. In one South Carolina study, coyotes accounted for 37 to 80 percent of all whitetail fawn mortalities. In 2007, a study of a herd near Auburn, Ala., showed a 67 percent fawn mortality rate, with coyotes accounting for 42 to 63 percent of the toll. In response to the problem, states loosened regulations on killing coyotes, and South Carolina even rolled out extensive trapping efforts, only to find them largely ineffective and costly.

In 2009, as wildlife managers and biologists grappled with the problem, Chamberlain began a five-county study in North Carolina, in which he and his team affixed tracking collars to 41 coyotes. Over time, they discovered that there are essentially two types of coyotes: residents, which make up about 70 percent of the population; and transients, which compose the remainder. Resident coyotes, Chamberlain observed, have relatively small home ranges of 2 to 25 miles. Transients, on the other hand, may roam 150 miles, presumably looking for a home range to open up. Once a resident coyote dies, a transient will settle in and claim the territory within a matter of weeks. This helps explain why trapping efforts weren’t working. “For every 10 coyotes you remove, three were just passing through,” Chamberlain says. “And if you’re removing transients, you’re not really having any effect.” Shooting the occasional coyote really makes no difference in what happens to the deer herd.

Spring to the Defense

Now Chamberlain is leading a team that’s tracking coyotes on a larger scale. They’re monitoring nearly 200 animals with transmitter collars across three states (Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina); it’s the most ambitious study of its kind. The goal is to learn more about how these predators use habitat, and how land management practices can manipulate coyotes’ effect on other species. And Chamberlain’s findings may just change how sportsmen manage the beasts.

So far, Chamberlain and his team have observed that coyotes concentrate in areas that also seem prime for deer. Though they haven’t determined how to discourage coyotes’ use of these areas, they have picked up ways to curb fawn predation in them. A leading approach, Chamberlain says, is to trap coyotes in late spring, just before the fawning season, so that fawns have time to mature before transient coyotes move in. “If you trap at any other time of year,” he says, “you’re essentially removing animals that will have their space filled before fawns ever hit the ground.”

Kip Adams, director of education and outreach for the Quality Deer Management Association, agrees, adding that the timing of coyote removal is likely more important than the number of coyotes removed. Most hunters trap and shoot coyotes in winter, when pelts are at their prime. But if improving fawn survival is a goal, shifting those efforts to April or May makes sense. Adams notes that the management of good fawning cover can also encourage fawn recruitment. In severe cases, where coyotes are jeopardizing herd numbers, hunters may need to shoot fewer antlerless animals, too. That runs counter to the message of aggressive doe management many have embraced in the past decade, but deer management is an evolving science.

No matter the outcome of Chamberlain’s study, hunters will have to deal with coyotes for the foreseeable future. The reality is that coyotes, with an ample food supply and quality habitat, show no signs of loosening their hold on the eastern United States. “They are here to stay,” Chamberlain says. But he believes that deer will adapt over time and improve their abilities to stave off coyote predation, and herds will resemble those that have dealt with the canines forever. “This predator is still fairly novel to them,” he says. “Talk to a deer manager in Texas, where coyotes have been present for many years. The problem isn’t really that high on the radar screen.”


GEAR TIP: Here’s the Catch

coyote trap

Minnesota Trapline

The MB-550.

Should you decide that you need to trap coyotes in spring, Chip Sharpe, South Carolina director of the National Trappers Association, recommends using a Minnesota Trapline MB-550 two-coil leg trap, paired with a PIT-19 cushion spring. This combo prevents a coyote from breaking a leg once ensnared, and minimizes the animal’s pain and the odds of it working itself free. —J.R.S.

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Here in Ohio,bow season starts Sept.29th,other states have similar starting dates,most by mid Oct. at the latest.

Ohio deer  seasons-

White-tailed Deer Hunting

Species Opening Date Closing Date Daily Bag Limit
Archery September 26, 2015 February 7, 2016 Refer to the Deer Hunting Section for details on zone and bag limits.
Gun
November 30, 2015 December 6, 2015
December 28, 2015 December 29, 2015
Muzzleloader
January 9, 2016 January12,2016

More info @  http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/hunting-trapping-and-shooting-sports/hunting-trapping-regulations/deer-hunting-regulations

W. Va deer seasons-

Archery-Sept 26th-Dec 31st

More info-

http://www.wvdnr.gov/Hunting/Regs1516/Deer_Season.pdf

Pa deer seasons-

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 19- Nov. 28 and Dec. 26-Jan. 23, 2016. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. One antlered deer per hunting license year.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Oct. 3-Nov. 14 and Dec. 26-Jan. 9. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

More info @ http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=576240&mode=2

  • don’t forget-Pa has elk hunting!

Michigan deer seasons-

*Archery: Oct. 1 – Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 – Jan. 1

More info @ http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10363-312005–,00.html

Kentucky deer seasons-

More info @ http://fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Pages/Deer-Hunting-Zones-and-Seasons.aspx

Indiana deer seasons-

Archery Season – Oct. 1, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016

2 antlerless deer OR 1 antlered and 1 antlerless deer (AND bonus antlerless county quota)

More info @ http://www.eregulations.com/indiana/hunting/deer-seasons-licenses-equipment/

That covers Ohio and surrounding states. The rest of the country has similar hunting seasons-some start earlier,some start later-but they all start in the fall.

You should have your blind/stand locations scouted out,shooting lanes cut,and your trail in and out raked clear of leaves,sticks,branches,etc. with any overhanging branches trimmed,along with any low branches from small trees,and briars and berry bushes that protrude onto the trail cut off at ground level.

Save all that stuff you trim to brush in your blind or stand. If it’s legal in your state-put out fresh mineral blocks and salt blocks now.

Increase the number of arrows you shoot each day,because as the season starts,you’ll be in the woods,and not practicing as much. I shoot a minimum of 6 groups of 6 arrows a day now,and at least 3 days a week,I shoot 12 groups of 6 arrows-6 in the morning,6 in the evening. At least 2 days a week,I shoot my 6 groups of arrows at last legal shooting light-(half hour after sunset here) Everyone needs to do this-because if there’s any issues with your sights – it’s better to find out now,and have time to fix the problem than it is to find out when you draw your bow on that big buck-and you can’t see shit.

If you hunt private land,and can get your stand/blind set up now-set it up-that way the deer get used to it,and don’t see it as a threat.

If you use trail cameras-you should have had them up in July. If you don’t have them up-get ’em up now.

I know I bring this up a lot-but until more deer hunters get it-the deer herds will continue to shrink many areas-

Shoot every coyote you see-more ‘yotes= fewer deer,in some areas,fawn predation is as high as 90%. That means the ‘yotes are killing 9 out of every 10 fawns born. Shoot the damn things-they’re not native to the eastern U.S.-they are an invasive species-plus eastern ‘yotes have a considerable amount of wolf DNA that they picked upon their way east in Minnesota,Wisconsin,the U.P.of Michigan,and parts of Ontario.

The second problem animal affecting whitetail deer are feral hogs-they eat the same foods as the deer,and while deer can have twins,even triplets,hogs can have 3 litters of 6-8 piglets-(sometimes up to 10 per litter)- per year,sometimes 4. The only way to remove a feral hog family-called a sounder-is to kill or trap every single one of them.If you leave just two,a boar and a sow-within a year,there will be 60-100 hogs in the same area,as the piglets from the first litter will be able to breed and have piglets within 6 months.

The sounders are territorial,so if you take one out-it will be at least a year before another moves in.

Feral hogs have been around from the Carolinas  to Florida,and Florida to Texas along the gulf coast since the Spanish explorers in the 1500’s released pigs in every new place they came to,because the pigs could fend for themselves,and be hunted for food when needed.

It’s impossible to eliminate feral hogs from the southeast,but it is possible to remove them from the surrounding states where they are a problem. The best the southeast can hope for is to limit the billions in crop damage by removing individual sounders.

Unless you want to see the deer herd in your area crash-start killin ‘yotes and feral hogs-remember-you gotta get the whole sounder-all of ’em- to get rid of the hogs.

Get out in the woods.

Read.

Learn.

Train.

Do more PT !

predator_f

As coyotes flood eastward and northward, filling virtually every nook and cranny of viable habitat between Florida and eastern Canada, the gray wolf is stalking the North Woods and northern Rockies. Black bear populations are swelling, and sighting the elusive bobcat is hardly a rare occurrence. Even mountain lions are showing up in new places. And all of this is happening as we humans continue to take millions of deer every year.

Meanwhile, whitetails are facing a host of other issues. Habitat loss, changes in human land-use patterns, disease, hunter harvest and an assortment of other challenges all represent some level of threat. A suite of whitetail predators the likes of which hasn’t been encountered in a century or more is only adding to the difficulty in maintaining high deer numbers.

As evidenced by the white flags waving over the Kansas landscape that spring evening, it’s become a scary world for the whitetail. But how serious is the threat of predation on the long-term viability of the herd? In light of other challenges, are predators the final straw that will push deer over the tipping point? And what, if anything, can we as hunters and conservationists do about it?

The Threat is Real
Without question, the whitetail now exists in an ecosystem characterized by far more predators — and more types of predators — than was the case 40, 20 or even 10 years ago.

“Here’s the thing with predation: Throughout most of the eastern United States, we have historically managed deer herds in the absence of predation,” says Karl V. Miller, professor of wildlife ecology and management at the University of Georgia. “We just figured that most of the predation occurred at the hands of sportsmen. That has changed. We have a predator context in the eastern United States that we historically have not had, and it needs to be taken into account in managing deer.”

Miller is among those spearheading a new study that will include a close look at land-use patterns of coyotes in the Southeast. He’s spent much of his career studying whitetails and the factors that influence them. He notes the coyote’s colonization of the eastern U.S. is a fairly new phenomenon.

In an article published in the Journal of Wildlife Management in 2009, Miller, along with coauthors John Kilgo, H. Scott Ray and Charles Ruth, discussed the expansion of coyotes in no uncertain terms.

“During the last half of the 20th century, the range of the coyote expanded dramatically,” Miller and his colleagues wrote. “Coyotes now occupy most of North and Central America. Eastward of the historic western range, coyotes now occur throughout eastern North America from New Brunswick, Canada, to Florida, USA.”

Although some evidence exists to suggest this rapid expansion occurred in part because of the extermination of other predators, the coyote is hardly the only carnivorous threat to whitetails.

“The point to be made here is that we’re not just talking about one predator,” says Dr. James C. Kroll, director of the Institute for White-tailed Deer Management & Research at Stephen F. Austin State University. “It’s an entire suite of predators.”

Kroll is not alone in his assessment. Researchers in the North Woods of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan have noted increased predation of whitetails by wolves. Bobcats are impacting fawn survival in several regions. And mountain lions are efficient ambush predators of adult deer — bucks in particular. The black bear has proven to be a significant killer of fawns throughout its range.

“In some areas of the United States, bears can have more of an impact (on whitetails) than coyotes or wolves,” says Kyle Ravana, who heads up Maine’s deer management program. “In other areas, it could be coyotes or bobcats that are having the biggest impact. It kind of depends on where you are.

DROPPING DEER NUMBERS

2009-10 DEER KILL

261,000

2014-15 DEER KILL

175,000 (estimated)

 

Years of liberal bag limits, fostered by the sale of discounted antlerless permits starting in about 2007, definitely knocked down the herd, wildlife officials acknowledge. But the build-up over decades in the number of Ohio’s whitetails, considered among the most robust and trophy-worthy in the country, clearly showed the strains of food competition. Ohio deer in recent years have taken longer to mature, to grow in body size and antler dimensions, and to produce young.

A smaller, better-fed herd should begin to reverse some of the physiological impacts, said biologist Mike Tonkovich, deer project leader for the wildlife division. In terms of managing the herd size, the acceptable number of deer on the landscape must fit what the human population — read: farmers — can tolerate.

Some hunters believe the herd has passed the point of going in the wrong direction.

“Our hunters are hanging on by a thread,” Dennis Malloy, one of two Ohio field representatives for the national group Whitetails Unlimited, said after the summit.

The future of deer hunting in Ohio might be more in flux than in doubt, but the numbers suggest the recent golden age of sorts has passed.

Hunters killed more than 261,000 deer during the 2009-10 season after tagging about 252,000 the season before. The kill has dropped annually since, from 239,400 in 2010-11 to 191,400 in 2013-14.

Through last weekend, this season’s whitetail harvest totaled 173,096, down 8.4 percent from the same point last year. When the season closes today, the final numbers likely will be around 175,000 — lower than any season since 2001-02.

The gun harvest has experienced a similar decline, having fallen every year since 2008. Hunters checked nearly 117,000 whitetails that year, and only 65,485 in the most recent gun week, in December.”

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2015/02/01/hunters-say-that-now-theres-not-enough-deer-in-ohio.html

Notice that Mr. Tonkovich did not even mention coyotes as one of the reasons for the decline in deer herd numbers.

I’ve had e-mail discussions with Mike Tonkovich in the past,he’s always responded to questions,and I’ll be the first to admit the guy does know what he’s doing-for the most part. The recent increase in the ‘yote population isn’t something the ODNR people seem to have noticed. Most don’t spend all that much time in the field,including the wildlife officers.

ODNR needs to start listening to those of us who spend more than a few days out in the fields and woods of Ohio.

I know that ODNR is pressured by both farmers-due to crop damage caused by deer,and by insurance companies,due to cars hitting deer, to reduce the deer population. As the article states,ODNR instituted low-cost doe tags,created urban zones where the doe tags were valid all season,not just until the day before gun season. Until this year,hunters were allowed to harvest 18-24 deer statewide by harvesting the max number in each zone.

Years of these policies,combined with the explosive growth of the coyote population,have reduced the deer population far too much. The recent changes made by ODNR are to little,too late. It’s going to take years for the deer population to recover-and it’s never going to recover unless the coyote problem is addressed.

Fawn predation by the ‘yotes is only going to increase,because not enough people hunt them. Unless the ‘yote population is knocked down by at least half-the size of the deer herd is going to decrease to the point there are very,very few deer-it will be like deer hunting was in Ohio during the 1970’s-when you could hunt the entire week of gun season and not see a single deer.

This year,Ohio harvest to a county by county bag limit,and limited hunters to a total of 6 deer statewide,as before,only one buck may be taken no matter where in the state it’s taken you can only take one,the rest must be does.

That’s still too many does,ODNR should limit the harvest to two deer per hunter so the herd can increase in population again.

ODNR’s claim that there is not enough food for more deer is pure bullshit-the only way there would not be enough food is if farmers stopped planting corn and soybeans.This fall,Ohio is going to institute WMU’s-(Wildlife Management Units)

Western states have been using this method for decades,most have had success using WMU’s.

I’m all for Ohio going to WMU’s,although it will make the hunting regs more confusing,it will allow wildlife biologists to manage game populations more effectively,because they can manage each area for the optimum deer population.

WMU’s are better because the bag limits can be adjusted for each unit,meaning higher bag limits in some,lower bag limits in others. This will allow the statewide deer herd to be healthier,and if managed correctly, we should see more big  bodied deer,and bucks with heavier antlers,and bigger racks.

The change to WMU’s will help the deer herd,as long as ODNR starts urging hunters to kill ‘yotes.

Fur prices are reasonable this year,so hunting ‘yotes funds itself,skin ’em out,salt and dry the hides,sell the hides,and you can even turn a profit.

Michigan Coyotes Take Down Horse

Posted: January 29, 2015 by gamegetterII in hunting
Tags: , , ,

And people think I’m making the shit up about coyotes killing adult deer,and being the reason for decline in deer herd numbers in multiple states…

The Lapeer County, Michigan Sheriff’s Mounted Unit announced on Sunday that one of their horses died as a result of a predatory coyote attack over the weekend. The horse’s owner, Lapeer County Sheriff Deputy Kallie Meyers, had been keeping the animal in a paddock near a barn on her property. On Sunday afternoon, a pack of five to six coyotes charged onto Meyers’ property and managed to bring the mare down before the owners were able to intervene by releasing their dogs on the predators.

Meyers’ dogs were eventually able to chase the pack off the property, but the horse’s injuries from the attack were too severe and it had to be put down.

“They came in the yard to get our horse,” Bruce Meyers wrote on Facebook. “Within 70 feet of the house. Our dogs went to help, managed to chase them off but one dog is chewed up, others have only a few scratches and minor punctures.”

It was not the first time that the predators have encroached upon the Meyers’ farm in Oxford Township. Kallie Meyers explained that coyotes have killed several farm animals on her property in the past.

Reports of coyotes attacking large animals in broad daylight are troubling to biologists. Coyotes are known for being shy around humans, and usually limit their hunts to smaller animals at night. In Michigan, it is legal to shoot or trap coyotes year-round on private property and there is no bag limit during regular seasons. Wildlife experts noted that humans and larger animals usually have very little to fear from coyotes.

Read the rest @  http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/2015/01/28/michigan-sheriff-deputys-horse-put-following-coyote-attack/

“Reports of coyotes attacking large animals in broad daylight are troubling to biologists.”

Really? The same biologists who have done studies that confirm eastern coyotes have a considerable amount of wolf DNA are now finding it “troubling” that packs of ‘yotes are killing large animals? I wonder how “troubling” they are going to find it when the population of our deer herds crash? Or when the first young child is attacked by a pack of ‘yotes?
I’ve made multiple posts asking deer hunters
to start shooting yotes,and letting them know that they will see fewer and fewer deer until the ‘yote population is seriously reduced. The only good thing I’ve noticed since the ‘yote population exploded in NE Ohio is that the feral cat population had been reducedwhich is a plus-as NE Ohio deer have been found to be carrying the organism that causes toxoplasmosis-which can ONLY be spread by cat feces,less cat shit in the woods is always a plus,along with less of a chance of getting toxoplasmosis.
Since the wildlife biologists and the DNR/state fish and game agencies
in Michigan,Ohio,Illinois,Indiana,Pa,and W.Va. don’t seem to believe that the ‘yotes are the reason for the decline in deer numbers,and do not seem to believe that ‘yotes are killing up to 7 out of every 10 fawns in many areas-it’s up to deer hunters to get the ‘yote population under control.

Most states have either no limit or very liberal limits on the number of ‘yotes you can shoot.

Fur prices are up this year,so you can more than cover your expenses-including ammo,food and gas.

The fewer ‘yotes there are in May-the more fawns that survive-now’s the time to start reducing the ‘yote population-the state fish and game agencies ain’t gonna help do it-so anyone who wants to see the deer numbers stop the decline-get out there and start takin out ‘yotes-as many as possible.

The Reason Eastern U.S. Coyotes Kill So Many Deer

Posted: January 27, 2015 by gamegetterII in hunting
Tags: ,

Coyote-wolf hybrids, or coywolves, are moving a little closer to Chicago each year and may be present in the Chicago area in as little as three years.

Coywolves are offspring of coyotes interbreeding with eastern wolves. The coywolf is an increasingly dominant species with already a significant presence in the northeastern United Sates and Canada – including urban areas like Toronto, Boston and New York.

Coyote, File Photo By Shawn McCready, Via Creative Commons. Coyote, File Photo By Shawn McCready, Via Creative Commons.

The coywolf population has been expanding a little westward each year in both Canada and the United States and already have a documented presence in western Ohio with sightings having also been reported in Indiana.

Coywolves quickly become alpha predators in the geography they occupy, combining the resilience and adaptability of coyotes and the social hierarchy, cooperation, larger size and pack hunting traits of eastern wolves.  Like coyotes, coywolves prosper in suburban and urban settings because of abundant food sources which include rats, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, geese and garbage. Unlike coyotes, which typically only feed on deer carrion, coywolves are able to hunt and bring down deer because of their pack hunting capabilities.  The significant deer population throughout the United States is thought to be part of what is fueling the coywolves expansion westward. Coywolf expansion.

Coywolves were first documented in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario in 1919. As wolves were exterminated throughout the United States and large parts of Canada, Algonquin Park was one of the last refuges of eastern wolves. Eastern wolves began to adapt to low populations by interbreeding with coyotes. Over subsequent decades, coywolve distribution gradually expanded in Canada and into the northeastern United States.

Continuing Expansion Of Coywolf Habitat, Source  - Scienceblogs.com.

Like coyotes, coywolves tend to be quite wary of humans and generally are not expected to pose any additional threat to people in the Chicago area. Coywolves may already be present in Illinois, and if not already present in the Chicago area, are expected to establish a population in the area in the next several years. Once a coywolf breeding population is established, natural resources would expect coywolves to become more and more dominant over time.

http://national.suntimes.com/national-world-news/7/72/542740/hybrid-wolves-chicago-coywolf

Start hunting and/or trapping these ‘yotes now,or there will be no deer left in a few short years.

The ‘yotes around here already hunt in packs-the number of deer they kill is only going to go up unless a serious effort is made to control the population.

I’m sure the Center for Biological Diversity is already trying to get them on the endangered species list to protect them as a subspecies of the gray wolf.

If you like deer hunting,and venison,get out there and put a huge dent in the numbers of ‘yotes-or there ain’t gonna be any deer left to hunt in a few years.

Another Good Reason to Hunt Coyotes

Posted: January 26, 2015 by gamegetterII in hunting, trapping
Tags: , , , ,

2015 Fur Price Outlook Not Bad After First Big Auction Results of the Year

2015 Fur Price Outlook Not Bad After First Big Auction Results of the Year

It was doom and gloom for trappers this time last year after the bottom fell out of the market.  Prices were rumored to be going back to basement levels of 20 years ago following the resurgence of the past couple of years.  Well, after the January 7th FHA auction, the prices were not that bad.

A lot of raccoon still went unsold, but the Eastern average was still over 10 dollars.  Muskrat averages stayed with coon prices with around a 10 dollar average as well. Red Fox did very well, with prices looking more like last years highs.

2015 Fur Price Outlook Not Bad After First Big Auction Results of the Year

The big story now is the resurgence of the coyote.  Even Eastern coyotes that were not much better than possum prices the past few years, are looking good.  Western coyotes are always in demand, but keep a close eye on their “uglier” Eastern cousins over the next few FHA ( Fur Harvesters of American ) and NAFA ( North American Fur Auctions ) auctions.

2015 Fur Price Outlook Not Bad After First Big Auction Results of the Year

So, the doom and gloom of the Chinese pullout of the fur market was much to do about nothing.  This was an off year for prices, but if things keep the way they are going and we get these unsold raccoons taken care of, then the market outlook for next year may not be half bad.

Here are the FHA Auction Results from January 7th

FHA 2015 Fur Auction Results NAFA

http://ohiooutdoorjournal.com/2015/01/25/2015-fur-price-outlook-bad-first-big-auction-results-year/

Coyotes and Low Deer Numbers

Posted: January 25, 2015 by gamegetterII in deer hunting
Tags: , ,

The whitetail harvest is down in multiple states and a big part of the reason why is coyote predation.

In areas with high ‘yote populations,fawn predation can be as high as 70%.

Think about that for a minute-say the area you hunt has an average deer population of 1,000 deer. A 70% predation rate means that 700 out of every 1,000 fawns get eaten by ‘yotes.

Combine the ‘yote predation with the EHD outbreaks a lot of midwestern and Appalachian states have seen in the past few years,and you now know what happened to all the deer.

When I started seriously deer hunting in the early 70’s as a kid,there were very few deer,then as the ‘burbs expanded,developers were forced to add “green space to new housing and industrial projects,cities increased the number of parks,and farming changed from small family farms to the big ag co-ops and corporations we see today,the combination provided plenty of food and shelter for deer.

In the late 70’s/early 80’s the Ohio deer population exploded,it peaked in the mid-to late90’s-we are now well past the peak,with deer numbers dropping due to a combination of DNR allowing overharvest of does for too many years,increasing EHD outbreaks,’yote predation,and in some states-CWD-the deer version of mad cow disease.

Many wildlife biologists have predicted a crash of the whitetail population. We are starting to see exactly that now.

There’s nothing we can do about EHD outbreaks,it’s hard to get state wildlife agencies to reduce doe harvest,due to farmers complaining about deer damaging crops,and insurance companies lobbying for even more does to be harvested-so they have to pay fewer claims from cars hitting deer.State wildlife agencies appear to be doing a decent job of slowing the spread of CWD-so that leaves the ‘yote problem.

Deer seasons are over or winding down just about everywhere now,’yotes breed in Feb. in NE Ohio,and Jan/Feb in most of the midwest and northern Appalachian states.

That means now’s the time to start huntin ‘yotes.

I keep posting about the ‘yote problem,because if we don’t lower the number of ‘yotes,we can all kiss deer hunting goodbye,it will be like it was in the 70’s when you hunted the week of gun season,and most people never saw a deer.

I know I like venison,and I know I can’t afford to buy the 150-200# of meat I get from deer hunting at the grocery store,so I want as many people as possible to shoot the ‘yotes.

It’s going to take a concerted effort from all deer hunters to lower the ‘yote numbers,so that the deer numbers go back up-if you do nothing-there will be very,very few deer within 2-3 years.

If you think you’ve been seeing fewer deer this year-wait ’till next year if no one is killing ‘yotes.

So get out there and start killing ’em.

Read.

Learn.

Train.

Do More PT !

Preliminary harvest figures for the 2014-15 deer-hunting seasons in Illinois are down,  even from the collapse in harvest numbers in the 2013-14 seasons.

Here is the word from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Illinois Deer Hunters Harvest Preliminary Total of 145,804 Deer during 2014-2015 Seasons

Deer Hunting Seasons Closed January 18

SPRINGFIELD, IL. – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 145,804 deer during all 2014-15 seasons, which concluded Jan. 18. The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons of 145,804 compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 148,614 in 2013-14. During this year’s deer seasons, hunters took 47 percent does and 53 percent males.

http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/7/71/313197/illinois-deer-hunting-harvest

Get out there and start shootin ‘yotes,or there’s gonna be even less deer next year !

 

 

Snow Dogs: Hunting The Coyote Rut

Posted: January 21, 2015 by gamegetterII in hunting
Tags: , , , ,

Yes, it’s cold, bitterly so. But once a rutting coyote—or three—answers your call and runs into your spread, you won’t need those extra hand warmers in your pocket.

There’s been a killing. Like detectives investigating a crime scene, my hunting buddy Dominic Valpiani and I pan our flashlights as we try to piece the clues together: a flurry of wayward tracks in the immediate area; tangled in some nearby sagebrush, a small tuft of fur; a patch of snow splattered with blood. Something, likely a jackrabbit, was blindsided midmeal.

Valpiani laughs a little. “Suppose that rabbit should’ve done more zigging instead of zagging,” he says. Then he marks the spot on his GPS. This could be a good spot to set up on tomorrow’s hunt.

This is the third significant coyote sign we’ve encountered tonight in as many miles, and given the differences between tracks, multiple dogs are working this basin. We get back in the truck and continue scouting, hoping we’ll find even more.
Once we have a hunting strategy in place, Valpiani and I return to base camp—which we’d set up a few hours earlier in one of Idaho’s many sagebrush deserts—around midnight. We’d had grand plans for a winter campfire, but it’s easier to ignite the camper’s propane furnace and listen to the drone of the weather radio. Surprise: More cold is on the way.

The Coyote Rut

Dog Walk: A hunter heads back with a nice Montana coyote in tow. Photo by Brian Grossenbacher

Valpiani and I don’t have access to private land, and by this time of year public-land coyotes have caught on to hunters’ tactics. But February is their mating season—a time when even the smartest coyotes lose their senses.

Before our hunt, we used GPS and detailed maps to peruse public areas neighboring private land where coyotes often find shelter, security, and easy access to food. We avoid low basins where snowdrifts amass, and instead look for south-facing slopes with partially melted snow patches and coyote tracks either coming or going. We’re respectful of boundaries, but we also know that dogs harbored on the other side of a fence will surely hear our calls.

We set up as if we’re calling elk, with a caller 40 to 50 yards uphill and behind a shooter. The key is to keep the initial howls and barks short and abrupt so as not to sound like a dominant dog, which can scare some predators away.
Valpiani and I often follow up with the squealing sounds of a distressed critter. Male coyotes are almost as interested in food as they are in mating. If the sound of an inviting mate doesn’t bring them running, the sound of a companion with a bite to eat will. Coyotes are scavengers and territorial by nature, and by combining our calling, we’re doubling down on two instinctual coyote drivers at this time of year.

The predawn air is stinging cold when we reach our first spot. The vapor of each breath mists over my mustache and beard and freezes, anchoring every whisker like cement. I can barely talk. Even smiling hurts. Just as the first hints of daylight wash over the desert, I see a private fenceline 100 yards to our left and know we’re right where we want to be. The hunt begins when Valpiani breaks the silence with a series of short, subtle howls and barks.

Read the rest @     http://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/hunting/2015/01/snow-dogs-hunting-the-coyote-rut?dom=fas&loc=todayonfas&lnk=snow-dogs-hunting-the-coyote-rut

Get out there and start shootin ‘yotes-unless you want to see fewer and fewer deer where you deer hunt.

In some areas,fawn predation is as high as 70%-that’s 7 out of every ten fawns born-70 out of every hundred-700 out of every thousand.

Get the picture? More ‘yotes = fewer deer, fewer ‘yotes = more deer.

Hunting ‘yotes ain’t easy,you have to make some effort-a lot of effort,it not only improves your shooting skills,it improves your blind set ups,your scent control,your camo,your calling,your blind placement and set up, your ability to hold perfectly still,and your ability to remain silent.

All of those things will make you a better deer hunter. besides that-it’s almost the end of Jan,what else are you gonna do between now and late winter/early spring steelhead and late spring crappie fishing and turkey season?

Beats sitting in the house getting fat from sodas,snack food and beers-plus it’s good exercise for you.

Aside from the shower curtain snow camo mentioned at the end of the article,you can use white sheets with a little black and grey spray paint and some driveway markers like the kind used by snowplow contractors to make a blind-so there ain’t no big investment in gear.

So,now that you have no excuses-start whackin ‘yotes-the furs will cover your ammo and gear costs,along with your gas money.