It’s a wild, wild life

Today’s post is a recap of several previous posts that contain pictures of the wildlife here in beautiful Bent Tree. Click the following post titles to see the photos:

“Coyotes are acting as top predators on deer, and controlling their numbers.”

The title of this post is a direct quote from USDA Forest Service wildlife biologist John Kilgo (click here to read a previous post with information regarding coyote/deer research conducted by Kilgo).  Following are two photos of a coyote taken by a motion-activated gamecam in Bent Tree three days ago. The first picture is a little blurry, but you can see that the coyote is carrying something in its mouth.  Five minutes later, the coyote heads back the other way.  I’m assuming it is the same coyote, but it could possibly be two different ones.

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August 5, 2012 - coyote carrying something in its mouth

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August 5, 2012 - coyote in Bent Tree

It may not look like much…

…but, this plant found in Bent Tree is pretty special.  The plant is Monotropa hypopitys (common name is pinesap).  Pinesap differs from most plants because it does not contain chlorophyll and does not produce its food through photosynthesis; therefore pinesap is not dependent on sunlight to grow.  It is very easy to overlook when walking through the woods. The USDA plant profile database shows no documented pinesap in Pickens County (click here for link).

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June 19, 2012 - pinesap plant in Bent Tree


Coyotes and whitetail deer

Yesterday’s post included a picture of a coyote in Bent Tree, captured by a motion-activated gamecam in June.  The same gamecam photographed a black coyote in  Bent Tree last year (see photograph below).  Coyotes are natural predators of whitetail deer.  Recent research spearheaded by USDA Forest Service wildlife biologist John Kilgo shows that coyotes may be a game-changer in whitetail deer management.  Kilgo led a multi-year study on the effect coyotes are having on deer populations in the southeastern United States.  According to Kilgo, “Coyotes are acting as top predators on deer, and controlling their numbers.”  Kilgo said that in the last ten years, the South Carolina deer population has declined by over 35%, and that coyotes have played a major role in the decline.  See the link below for more information on the research.

September 4, 2011 – black coyote in Bent Tree


  • Following is a May 2012 video interview with Kilgo.

Note – the above video is made available for embedding in websites by US FS Science Delivery enabling the YouTube “Share” option


Check out this video from USDA Aphis.  They have developed an effective, safe contraceptive for white-tail deer.

GonaCon™ is registered with the EPA and is currently available to wildlife management agencies on the local, state and federal levels.  It must also be registered with a state (to be used in that state) and approved by the state fish/game agency.  As of last year, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources had not given their approval for the use of GonaCon™ in Georgia.

Note:  USDAAPHIS allows the sharing/embedding of this video by using the YouTube “Share” option.