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poutpro

Coyote taking fawns

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I was working at a job this past weekend, and the guy showed me pics from his trail cam set up by a coyote den. There were 22 different pictures of coyotes dragging deer fawn into their den. I was shocked that they would take that many deer. I just thought I'd share this interesting fact.

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Had a group of guys chase a yote down his hole and went home and got a backhoe and dug up twenty some fawn skulls near glenwood

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It would be interesting to see the pics!! I'm betting that it was the same fawn many times, as in they drug the carcass back to the den and then toyed/played with it/chewed on it in front of the camera.

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I don't have the pictures, they were the guy's that I was working at. They were 22 different days, so you would think that they were different fawns.

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i would believe that. In my fathers area of the very northeast corner of SD. They say the deer pop. is struggling cuz the yotes are killing all the fawns. The gfp even stated this. (not publicly of course but in casual conversation)

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I have a freind that has his Corrals for his ranch about a mile from the Ranch house. He has seen the Coyotes eating the new born calf as fast as the Cow was pushing it out. If they sense a Cow having trouble getting up, they will close in for the kill. When they are in packs, they have no fear at all. CAJ

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I beleive it, fawns are very vounerable, can't really run away. Their instinct is to hide if threatened and are no match for even one coyote. On one particular property this spring there were four does with a total of 9 fawns. This fall there were four does. Something got those fawns, and I'm sure it was coyotes. A friend of mine also dug up a den, destroyed what was in it, and counted at least sixteen fawn skulls. There are areas where the fawn predation is very high.

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Is this a recent trend or has it always been going on?

That might be the reason for so few fawns seen this last deer season, in my hunting area.

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well i don't think it is necessarily a new trend it just seems that the yote population is increasing everywhere...which in turn leads to finding more and any kind of food. Your state of minnesota has lots of deer, so i guess it would be natural prey for them. i fully believe they take a toll on fawns anywhere.

my thoughts anyway.

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I know on the property that I deer hunt, there is a direct correlation between the rising coyote population and the declining fawns. I've tried to kill some of them, but once they are shot at once, they get smart, and they are a smart critter to begin with.

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We're hearing a fairly consistent story of yotes taking fawns. Lots of them.

So, when does it become a problem?

How would numbers be measured and is this something the dnr could be asked to do?

Is there a state deer function coming up this spring?

I'd just like more discussion to see if it is something to be concerned with.

What was the deer harvest the past couple of years.

Any surprises?

Maybe the numbers of deer have changed in the past 5 years that is not showing up?

comments?

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I've got a hard time buying all of the stories about dozens of skulls found in coyote dens and depleted deer herds caused by coyotes.

Sorry, but some of the "my buddy's cousin's uncle dug up a den and found 234 fawn skulls" stories are looking a little thin.

Your basic fawn, while a helpless creature, is also nearly invisible to the nose of predators. I have seen dogs, coyotes and wolves trot right past fawns on a number of occasions, never knowing they were there. The instances that really stick in my mind are where the wind was clearly in the predator's favor, and they never had a clue.

I used to spend an inordinate amount of time turkey hunting with my bow. A big part of that game is finding a good vantage point in the late afternoon and using the ears and optics to locate your quarry for the morning. You see lots of neat stuff in addition to turkeys!

One evening my buddy and I watched a doe give birth to twins, and after a few short minutes she took off down towards the creek. The fawns were laying down in the grass. As we watched, 2 yotes came trotting along a fenceline - downwind of the delivery room, and passed within 10 feet of the newborns without so much as a sniff or anything. We had the video camera running and were sure we would get some graphic and gory stuff, but that was not the case.

The doe watched from a safe distance, and finally trotted up and gathered up the young ones. They were there until dark.

Out with my lab screwing around, I've watched him blow right past fawns twice, never even flinching as he went within feet of them.

Watched a fawn suckling off its momma on our property up North, and suddenly the doe bolts - the fawn hits the dirt - and along comes the Big Bad Wolf. A scraggly-looking male comes trucking along, passes within feet of the fawn, and never misses a beat. He eyeballed the doe for a bit, but finally decided to move along and look for an easier meal.

Coyotes are critters like many others - neither good nor evil - just critters. Just my opinion, but I don't see the coyote as having nearly the effect on deer populations as weather, disease, and other "normal" causes.

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jackpine,

no one said the yote was bad, most are curious as to if they have a high diet of fawns and in some areas they do. Like it or not. Not in all and probably in most cases they don't hurt the deer numbers but they do kill fawns. Period.

Not all fawns are laying down when a yote comes. Fawns loose their no scent abiltiy after a month or two. (what i was told) They don't have to be new borns to get eaten. As i had mentioned before, in my fathers area a farmer had trouble with yotes taking calves right after they dropped and reported seeing very few deer in the last two seasons. He called the state trapper. The trapper killed, 53 yotes in a square mile pasture in two months. Coincidence..i don't know. But the fact is yotes do kill lots of fawns in areas but not necessarily enough to hurt population.

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As a deer hunter, I would love to see all those fawns grow up into 10-pointers. But that's the circle of life in the wild, and the yotes are just one part.

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Generalizing your very few encounters to the behavior of all coyotes is a mistake. Just because you had 3 incidents where a coyote didn't take a fawn by no means shows that the entire population does not. If I walk by a T-bone steak and am not hungry, I won't eat it. That doesn't mean that all people will not eat it when they walk by, it just means, that for some reason, I didn't want that steak at that time.

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Instead of complaining that the coyotes are killing all the deer, why not take up coyote hunting and help control the population......as far as a coyote taking a fawn...of course it is possible...but have you ever seen a doe defend her fawn against a coyote...they kick some butt and the coyote doesn't stick around long......everyone talks about all these skulls they have found in dens....where are the pictures?? Nobody ever thought of taking a picture of this??

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I would like to see photos of the skulls in dens as well. I have not seen many dens that could handle a litter of pups, a yote, and that many bones. Andy why only skulls? No other bones? I think some stories may be a bit exaggerated. But yotes do and will kill fawns, not all fawns, but they will kill them.

Get out trapping and calling, do some yote control, it will help your red fox population as well.

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I figure that since the deer population has been continually rising for the past several years the number of fawns taken by predators, starvation, sickness, or injury doesn't have a serious impact. The predators are fairing well because prey levels are up. If the prey population begins to decline so too will the predators.

Having a lot of fawns taken does not necessarily reflect as an over-predation problem. It might reflect more on the health of the prey. Fact is, if it wasn't for the predation of the deer, the species as a whole could be suffering far worse from other problems. It could just be nature keeping things in balance.

Bob

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well here is some interesting info i just read on another site about yote and deer/fawns. These are just two studies so take them for what it's worth. In one area of the nation fawn numbers increased 70% when yotes were heavily hunted or trapped. In Oklahoma they found that a yotes diet consisted of 86% fawns. Strangely enough it basically said that fawns are major portions of yotes diet and they do take an effect on fawn numbers-however not on adult populations. When weather (snow) is bad they take the most deer-cuz they can catch them.

So, when someone says "in their area" yotes are killing many fawns. I think it is resonable.

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