Time to target deer dingoes


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Jul 27, 2011
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An old hunter recently told me that New Year through March is the highest impact time to take dominant coyotes out of your deer hunting area.

He was not suggesting that predator hunting makes a dent in the coyote population. His reasoning went like this: alpha coyotes pair up and den their litters around April. They’re the ones who wipe out newborn fawns in May-June, to feed their pups. But if dominant coyotes are removed from a hunting area by April, he reckoned it is too late for a new mated pair to move in. Other dominant pairs have either denned up somewhere else by then, or the coyotes that remain are just singles or goofballs with no unusual food demands.

So his point was that removing mated coyotes in the winter helps fawn recruitment in your area. I haven't seen anything in the hunting literature on this theory, and I’m interested in what experienced hunters think about it.

Here's the closest I found:

"[T]hree out of every four fawns [are] being lost to coyotes. In general, the canines prey on smaller game such as voles, mice, squirrels, rabbits, birds. [But] the difference the first week makes in a fawn's ability to survive a potential coyote attack appears to be significant."

And predator champ Garrett Johnson has a lot to say about dominant coyote removal. He calls it "mule deer insurance":


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