Coyotes and Deer

By GrowingDeer,

  Filed under: , , ,

← Grant's AnswersAsk Grant



After watching your rabbit problem on video (GDTV 33), it got me thinking.  Is it worth harvesting and trapping all of those coyotes when the rabbits will then boom in number and destroy your crops?  Do you have any research or information about how many deer are actually killed by coyotes each year?  Or perhaps how many rabbits a coyote will kill each year?  Just trying to get some justification as to why you prefer rabbit problems over coyotes?




It is true that coyotes eat rabbits.  It is also true that coyotes eat deer, lots of deer.  I recently advised a graduate student at the University of Georgia, Cory VanGilder, who completed his thesis on coyote-deer interactions.  He found that fawn survival increased 150+% after one year of trapping coyotes.

A more recent study placed transmitters in the vagina of does that were expelled when fawns were born.  When the transmitters were expelled, they sent a different tone to the receivers which allowed researchers to locate the fawn within an average of four hours.  Sixty-seven percent of the fawns were killed and consumed, the majority by coyotes, before the researchers arrived at the birthing site.  Many recent university research projects have documented similar results.

In fact, some states are considering reducing deer season/and or bag limits due to the amount of deer being killed by coyotes.  Remember that there is only a fraction of the trappers working today compared to just ten years ago.  In addition, fur prices have been extremely low during recent years and gas prices high.  There is very little motivation for trapping except for recreation and predator reduction.

Coyotes are clearly having a huge impact on many deer herds and other game species.

Growing Deer together,