Do you believe predator control can work?

By Grant Woods,

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I recently watched you’re latest episode about predator control which lead me to wonder something. What are your thoughts on the research that says the more you target coyotes, the more they breed? Personally I have believed this because my biology professors happen to be hunters and also believe this statement to be true. I do think that this is the case in smaller scale management of coyote, but it can be avoided in larger scale management. Also a very effective way of coyote hunting is by running dogs. Its very controversial here in NY but it does produce results as they cover large tracts of land and often can remove 50-100 coyotes a season in a given area. Large scale trapping would also do the job, but many have given up in my part of the country because of the low fur prices. Thank you for your time.


Coyotes certainly can respond to better habitat (more prey and less pressure) by producing more pups.  Many species respond to improved habitat by having a higher recruitment rate.  However, to blanketly say that fawn recruitment can’t be increased by reducing the number of predators isn’t true.  There are many published and unpublished examples where the reduction of coyotes has resulted in significant increases in fawn survival.  You may search for and read Benson et al. that was published 30+ years ago in Texas based on research at the Weller Wildlife Research area.  More recently check out VanGilder et al (2009). They reported 100+% increase in fawn recruitment due to removing coyotes.

Just as importantly researchers from the University of Georgia recently reported that deer are extremely stressed by coyote activity even if when deer aren’t harmed by the coyotes.  No doubt deer populations can benefit from removing coyotes.

Enjoy creation,


February 7, 2016