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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

So once again in the article below, we return to America of the 19th century when all carnivores were referred to as "VARMINTS"...................Unfortunately for the well advised American, this is how the state of South Carolina labels Coyotes............Misnomered as "non-native" by the state's DNR, this is like saying that Opossums and Cardinals are non-native to New England because they were not there prior to 1900................If a native animal like the Coyote migrates on it's own power to previously unihabited regions due to weather, habitat and vegetative changes, then that animal has EXPANDED IT'S NATIVE RANGE and is not an INVASIVE...........I don't know how you feel but "I am up to here" with so called trained biologists like those in South Carolina not knowing "WTF" THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..............Not only that but for these same biologists to state that their recently conducted South Carolina Coyote study "did not yield the clear picture (regarding coyotes severely hurting deer populations) that they had hoped for" makes my blood boil........In fact the truth is that for their first 20 days fawns make easy prey for coyotes.................. But by overmatching the Coyotes(and other predators) with more fawns than they can eat, enough deer survive to keep the population healthy. ...........If these South Carolina biologists worked for me in my business, they would be fired on the spot for negative pre-determined bias!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.........................

GUNS & GAME: Coyote impact on deer unclear, but biologists still recommend population control

A six-year study into the impact coyote predation is having on whitetail deer fawn mortality rates hasn’t yielded the clear picture for which biologists had hoped.

Charles Ruth, wildlife biologist and Deer-Turkey Project manager for DNR, says coyotes did negatively impact fawn survival at the Savannah River Site (SRS), where the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) conducted its study between 2006-12. The caveat, however, is that controlling the coyote population apparently didn’t do as much to improve fawn survival as scientists initially hypothesized, Ruth says.

“Fawn survival doubled the first year we implemented coyote population control,” Ruth said Tuesday. “But, the second year, fawn survival was not good at all. It was like we never removed a coyote, when in fact we removed about the same number of coyotes from the area as we did in year-one. The fawns still disappeared.”
Results from the third year of coyote population control in 2012 (the sixth year of the study overall) fell somewhere in between the positive indications of the first year of removal and the disappointing numbers from year-two, Ruth said.
During the first three years of the study (2007-2009), which were devoted to establishing a baseline for the fawn survival-to-mortality rate, it was discovered that roughly 70-percent (7 of 10) of all fawns in the SRS study area were dying from all causes combined. 
Of that 70 percent, it was determined that 80-percent (5 of every 7) died because of coyotes, an invasive species not native to the Palmetto State that first arrived here during the 1970s both through illegal importation and natural migration from adjoining states.

Coyotes are outstanding consumers of rodents and rabbits, doing farmers, ranchers and homeowners a great service

In the fourth year of the study in 2010, USFS and DNR biologists implemented extensive coyote population control — i.e., mass coyote extermination — to figure out if whitetail fawns survived more frequently in the absence of coyotes.
When DNR and USFS officials initially found that fawn survival in the selected areas doubled in the absence of the varmints, Ruth said, he and fellow biologists thought it seemed logical that the trend would continue. When the 2010 results weren’t supported by the 2011 and 2012 findings, though, DNR and USFS scientists had to rethink their position.
“We found very intensive coyote control program can improve your fawn survival, but it might not work the way you want it to all the time,” Ruth said. “There still may be annual unexplainable fluctuation in the fawn survival rate.”
Based on the findings, Ruth says all he can recommend for hunters and landowners concerned about coyotes do is be thorough in their efforts to remove them, as it will have at least some positive impact on the deer herd, albeit maybe not as much as originally suspected.---THIS IS ABSOLUTE B.S.---PEER REVIEWED SCIENCE STATES JUST THE OPPOSITE---COYOTE POPULATIONS THAT ARE HUNTED ENDLESS AND WITH EXTERMINATION IN MIND REBOUND EVEN FASTER AND ULTIMATELY CREATE LARGER #'S OF ANIMALS IN A GIVEN REGION(BLOGGER RICK)
“The key to ensuring that coyotes are not or will not in the future (impact deer numbers on a property) is being very intensive in your coyote removal. You’ve got to commit to it and keep at it,” Ruth said. “Coyotes will be a tougher nut to crack than simply shooting one once in a while.”
There is no closed season for hunting coyotes. Coyotes may be hunted year-round on private lands with a valid hunting license during daylight hours. The use of bait and electronic calls are legal for hunting coyotes.
Coyotes also may be hunted any time of the year at night with an artificial light or nightvision devices, with or without the use of bait as long as hunters only use a rimfire rifle, a bow and arrow, a shotgun with a shot size no larger than size BB, or a sidearm of any caliber that has iron sights (no scope or laser sights) and a barrel length not exceeding nine inches.
In an effort to allow hunters and landowners to better control coyote and other varmint populations, DNR now allows night hunting from the last day of February through July 1. Registration can be completed online at
Upon notification to DNR at least 48 hours in advance, hogs, coyotes, and armadillos may be hunted at night with or without the aid of bait, electronic calls, artificial lights, and night vision devices using any legal firearm, bow, or crossbow. Hunters using center-fire rifles during this time must be at an elevated position at least 10 feet from the ground. 
Notice to the SCDNR is required once per season for each property. Names, dates of birth, and hunting license numbers of each person participating in the hunt must be made available for registration. Persons convicted of certain offenses within the last five years are ineligible to participate. Applicants also will be asked to provide information regarding the location of the property, including road names and numbers that border the property.
Landowners who do not have a hunting license can also obtain a free depredation permit that allows a property owner (or their designee) to trap or shoot damage-causing coyotes without any kind of license or season restrictions.

Coyotes kill and eat Fawns but annual Fawn survival is no better or worse over time whether Coyotes exist in their region or not

Depredation permits are free and available from any of DNR’s offices or conservation officers. These permits also may be obtained over the phone. This permit will be good for 30 days for a specific site.
For those property owners who wish to pay someone to trap coyotes for them, the list of Wildlife Control Operators is available from any DNR office or online at
These companies and individuals perform wildlife control services on a contract-fee basis. WCOs are not DNR employees and are not affiliated with the DNR. It is important to ask for references before hiring a WCO. Have all fees and guarantees in writing.
For more information about coyotes, legal issues, control techniques, trapping advice, or anything else coyote-related, contact the DNR Furbearer Project at 803-734-3609.
Coyotes were originally found primarily in only the western half of North America, but in the last 300 years — coinciding with the disappearance of wolves and spread of humans — they have rapidly expanded their range to now include all but the most extreme areas of North and Central America, including every contiguous U.S. state and Alaska.
A steady decline in the state’s overall deer population and harvest rates after a record-high season for both in 2002 originally concerned DNR biologists, prompting the launch of the cooperative study with the USFS into the effects of coyotes on the deer population.
DNR maintained early on that it didn’t believe coyotes were having as significant an effect on the deer population as were habitat change, competition with wild hogs for resources and the massive harvests spawned by the state’s liberal harvest laws.--THIS IS STILL THE CASE ALTHOUGH THE SOUTH CAROLINA NIMRODS REFUSE TO OWN UP TO IT--BLOGGER RICK
That opinion changed in recent years as new information from DNR’s study and studies in other states became available.

Surviving a Coyote-Eat-Fawn World

Fawn photographed June 11 in Vermontville , NY

In football, to flood the zone is to overwhelm defenders with more receivers than they can possibly cover. Sometimes nature runs this play, but on defense. Mayfly nymphs, for example, sprint for the surface of a lake in such huge numbers that trout simply can’t eat them all. This is known as predator swamping.
Right now, hidden in the ferns, white-tailed deer are running a swamp defense. Fawns, born in tight synchrony in late May and early June, are Bambi wobbly at birth. For their first 20 days they make easy prey for coyotes. But by overmatching the predators with more fawns than they can eat, enough deer survive to keep the population healthy.

Robin Holevinski is a PhD student interested in coyote predation on deer in New York State. Fawn kills decline steeply through mid-June, she found. By July coyotes have largely moved on to other prey, according to a series of recent studies by Holevinski and other researchers with Roosevelt Wild Life Station at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in Syracuse. “In summer, 55% of carcasses killed by coyotes were fawns, 24% were woodchuck, 18% were turkey, and 4% were goose and cottontail,” Holevinski emailed.

Scientists and grad students used GPS collars to track coyotes to kill sites and examine what they had eaten in Otsego and Steuben counties, in New York State’s southern tier. In winter, 42% of the carcasses researchers found were scavenged deer (killed by vehicle collision or injuries sustained during hunting season), 28% were scavenged livestock (none killed by coyotes), 27% were too decomposed to know what killed them, and only 3% were animals clearly killed by coyotes.

In the Adirondacks, coyotes gradually filled the top predator niche after the wolf and cougar were hunted to local extinction in the 1890s. Unlike most western coyotes, the ones that migrated east will prey on deer, but new evidence finds it’s not their primary source of protein in the Adirondacks.

Coyotes here now appear to favor beaver over deer. The percentage of coyote scat containing deer in SUNY ESF’s Huntington Wildlife Forest, in Newcomb, has declined from a historic peak of around 90 percent from 1975 to 1980 to less than 50 percent today, even though deer are more plentiful today, according to research by Scott Warsen, who looked at long-term trends in coyote diets from the 1920s to present. Warsen is a 2012 graduate of ESF with a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Biology and Management now working in Deer River, Minnesota, for the U.S. Forest Service.

Roosevelt Wild Life Station also estimates that there are 2.5 pairs of coyotes per 10 square miles in the Adirondacks. They arrived at this figure by analyzing DNA in scat, and by playing recorded coyote calls and listening for responses. Three-person teams fanned out across rural areas in New York State in the summer of 2010 to listen for howls on windless nights.

If you are interested in trying to count coyotes near your home, here’s a pro tip from the study: an individual coyote can be detected only as it joins the group howl, within the very first few seconds.
For more information on Roosevelt Wild Life Station research in the Adirondacks and around the world click here.

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