Does Predator Control Really Help Deer and Turkey Populations?

Chris Larson from our parent company www.foremosthunting.com just posted a really interesting article about predator control.  The article questioned how effective trying to control coyotes and foxes really is.  You can read Chris's article here: http://goo.gl/6pAZ5.

One of the reasons I got into coyote hunting to begin with was I felt like it was one way I could help "restore" the  deer population in the area I hunt.  I would love to hear some of your thoughts on Chris's article.  I'm a big believer in habitat restoration as well but I have to believe that one less coyote that eats one less fawn or turkey equates to one more turkey or deer coming hunting season.  Is it a useless ambition?  I would love to hear your comments!

4 comments:

  1. As foremosthunting.com's prominent blowhard, I'll chime in. Predator control with deer can be far more effective because of the size of the animals we are talking about. Raccoons, opossums, weasels, hawks, and owls can all do significant damage to the turkey population but have no effect on deer. So there are far fewer predators that are threat to deer. They are also much bigger... we can see them. Can you imagine trying to wipe out all the weasels on a given property? Deer are also a different animal. They are the most adaptable game animal in North America. Just about anywhere can be thought of as deer habitat. A standing corn field provides refuge and food for a deer while turkeys typically avoid them. Deer don't need nesting habitat. Fawn survival is far higher than typical poult survival.

    The main point of the story is that if we're serious about bolstering turkey numbers, improving habitat is far more effective than predator control. Habitat really isn't an issue for deer.

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  2. Thanks for the insight Chris. Maybe we need a new site to focus on weasel hunting- ForemostWeaselHunting.com coming soon to a blog near you???

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  3. I'll have to agree with Chris pretty much.As for weasels, I dont think they do too much,their population is right around 1 weasel for 8-10 acres, right now there is a study going on in the state on weasels because their population has been quite low due to some parasite or disease that affects their lungs. For coyotes, we have alot, but we also have alot of turkey's as well. We also have a low number up here of the egg eaters like coon, possum, skunk. So our turkey's are really thriving up here. What the coyote is affecting is the deer numbers, I've witnessed alot of kills by coyotes over the past few years and a few wolf kills. Coyotes do kill alot of deer. I've been calling alot over the years and have called in plenty of deer, but blow a howl out into the air and those deer fly out of there in a flash, I've gone down to the southern part of the state and done the same thing and when the howl goes out those deer stand and look at you.That tells me something as to whats happening up here as well. We also have bears here and lots of them, the DNR hasn't done a very good job at calculating numbers up until the last couple years when a tetrecycline study revealed that the population was high enough to give out around 3800 tags extra for bear here.Throw in the wolf and our deer are fighting a loosing battle in imo. Anyway back to the turkey, their thriving here, seen crop damage already and if you see one in a field, you'll see 20. I could see down the road where you'll be able to bag a bird a day if they keep growing in population.

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  4. One thing I'd like to add is.Predator control does help the deer population to a point, but what I've noticed and farmers properties I trap coyotes on, is the cottontail rabbits numbers have come back up. The farmers tell me the past few years since I've come on their property the rabbit numbers have come back up significantly.I usually hear that comment from new farmers and landowners I trap on within the 3rd year of trapping their property.The secret to predator control is in my opinion, to keep on them year after year, because when you remove some,it creates a vacum and more come in. I had one area I took 17 coyotes off of this year, I'd trap 2 or 3 then it would go quite a week, then bam more would come in. One year I killed 21 off of one property, they just kept moving in.So when it comes to predator control it's a never ending endeavor. You have to stay on them or they'll take their toll.

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