Deer Predator Update

October 18, 2012 – two coyotes in Bent Tree

“Without its predators which have been removed, it [deer] will reproduce to a number that cannot be supported by the forest”. – from the report of the Bent Tree Ad Hoc Forest Management Committee, September 7, 2010

  • Click here to link to a current article from Georgia Outdoor News, titled “The Coyote Cull”, to get a hunter’s perspective.
  • Click here to read a previous post (from 2012) on this website that covers the same subject and links to an earlier article.

The Full Wolf Moon

There was a full moon on Wednesday (photos above and below were taken in Bent Tree). The December and January full moons were back-to-back “mini-moons”. Click here for more information.

The January full moon is known as the “Wolf Moon”. There may not be wolves in Bent Tree, but there are some healthy looking coyotes that can be heard howling at night. Several coyote photos (taken in Bent Tree by trail cameras) have been posted on this website in the past. The most unusual one was of a black coyote. Click here to see the black coyote photo on a previous post.

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January 15, 2014 - Full Wolf Moon over Bent Tree

“Whoa, you can shoot too many does.”

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October 18, 2012 - two coyotes in Bent Tree

The title of this post is a direct quote from Dr. Steve Ditchkoff, a leader in whitetail deer research and the head of the Auburn University Deer Lab. It is taken from a recent Georgia Outdoor News article on current concerns regarding the effect coyotes are having on the whitetail deer population in Georgia. Two years ago, some Bent Tree property owners tried to make the point that coyotes were in Bent Tree and were predators of fawns. These property owners were dismissed as ignorant by certain board members / other community members. In Georgia, the deer management philosophy of liberal doe hunting is being challenged by the coyote “predator pit concept”. The fear is that deer populations in some areas are in danger of dipping to a level from which the herd cannot recover (due to low numbers of fawns surviving coyote predation, especially when in conjunction with the high bag limit of does). Click here to read the Georgia Outdoor News article. It is lengthy, but worthwhile to read in its entirety. The photograph above, of two coyotes, was taken yesterday in Bent Tree by a trail camera. To quote Dr. Karl Miller (researcher and UGA professor) in the last line of the GON article, “We’ve got the coyote. And we’re going to have to deal with them.”

  • Click here for a previous post on coyotes and whitetail deer concerns.

“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

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

Twin fawns – one month old

A previous post (click here to see) shared pictures of newborn twin fawns that were born in Bent Tree on June 26th. They turned one month old yesterday (if they have survived the bears, coyotes, and humans). The last time I saw the twins was the day after they were born. Later that night, a gamecam in the yard captured a photo of a coyote, so it is a distinct possibility the coyote took at least one of the fawns. But, three days ago, the same gamecam captured a photo of a doe and twin fawns. Maybe it’s the same deer one month later. Following are the gamecam photos of the coyote and the deer. You have to look closely to see both fawns (one is nursing, the other is getting washed by the doe).

June 27, 2012 – coyote in yard one day after fawns were born (photo taken by motion-activated gamecam)

July 24, 2012 – doe and twin fawns (photo taken by motion-activated gamecam)

 

Update on the twin fawns

A previous post was about twin fawns born June 26th in Bent Tree (click here to read the post and see pictures of the newborns). The mother and fawns stayed put for over five hours that day. By evening, they were nowhere to be seen. But, they all came back on Wednesday…so the fawns survived the first 24 hours (see pictures below). Bent Tree is home to bears and coyotes, which are known predators of whitetail deer (especially young fawns). That’s nature. In fact, a bear came around while the newborns were still here, but something startled the bear and it ran into the woods across the street. Both fawns were seen the next morning. I haven’t seen the fawns since, but their mother has come by every day. Maybe she’s found a nice cool place in the woods for her fawns to hide and escape the heat. Mother deer leave their fawns for hours at a time (hiding them in separate places if she has multiples). Newborn fawns have no scent. This makes it harder for predators to find them.

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