Coyotes And Deer

Andy W. from Illinois writes to ask about coyotes. "We have a ton of coyotes in my area. Just how much damage can they do to deer, and is there anything I can do about it?"

Here again there is research that gives us some answers. Texas studies show that in certain situations coyotes are a problem. They take lots of fawns. A new research study comes out of Alabama. It shows the same thing. On a 2,000-acre area they had a fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.56 before they removed coyotes. 

Dr. Dave Samuel

Then they conducted an intensive coyote removal program taking out 22 coyotes and 10 bobcats in a six-month period. The fawn-to-doe ratio bounced up a fair amount. The key here is to remove coyotes before fawns drop in May and June. That is the critical time when coyotes can hurt your deer. So, get your friends and hunt coyotes in the spring (I assume that is legal in Illinois). Hammer coyotes in a localized area and fawn survival will go up considerably.

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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of‘s content at Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.

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