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David Sparks Ph.d Coyote Culprits
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Sportsman's Spotlight
Date: September 04, 2017

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Wolves are not always the culprit.

I have done a number of stories on varmint hunters and on rifles that are used for varmints. Varmint hunters often target coyotes and it turns out that there may be a very good reason to do that if you are a mule deer hunter according to the position taken by Idaho Fish and Game: “It is always wolves that take the hit but are you telling me that coyotes serve as a real threat to mule deer in particular? Absolutely, yes. It is not an every year situation but on years that you don’t have very good alternative prey like rabbits, then coyotes tend to focus more on deer fawns. This is during the spring and early summer. When we focus coyote removal over several years on areas that are high density fawning areas, you can get a benefit. Especially during those years where coyotes don’t have the alternative prey and so, yes, coyote predation can have an impact on fawn survival, it is not an every year situation and it is not across the board but certainly if you have concerted efforts you can help improve the herd. Coyotes can decimate a mule deer herd more than elk? Yes, the coyote impact to mule deer is higher than it is on elk. Smaller fawns are easier to take down for a smaller mammal as opposed to a larger, more mobile animal.

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