As predation increased deer numbers went down. This was both human predation and predators like bear, bobcats, coyotes, and eagles. Human predators have controlled predation, meaning we control length of season, numbers of animals taken, hours ect. The other predators can hunt 24/7 and kill all they want. The more predators you have, the more they kill. It is hard to bring a population back up, if predator numbers are rising. All the predators I listed above have gone up in numbers. As we have seen deer in areas in or near the towns and cities seem to be doing good number wise, this is due to less predators in these areas. The same thing happened to small game when raptors were protected, small game numbers dropped. Many will try to tell you its all about the poor habitat, but the predators use the same habitat and are rising in numbers. Another good example of how predation lowers game numbers is what happened out west, when the wolves were reintroduced. You will hear all kinds of stories and theories, but the fact is predators kill game, the more you have, the more they kill and game numbers drop. A good way to bring up game numbers is reduce predation. Not always an easy thing to do, bear, coyotes and bobcats have more opportunities to be hunted, but their numbers still have risen. Many anti hunters oppose the killing of predators so their numbers rise to the point, that game numbers are so low, that seasons are closed for the human hunters. Less human hunters and the deer numbers not coming back, look at predation as a real problem. You will even hear from some, that all this predation is good because it makes for healthier animals and a healthier herd. I guess if you do not care if you have enough game left for the human hunters this may be true. I would rather see a human hunter kill a deer and eat it than a coyote kill one and not even eat it. A few years ago when hunting in Maine our guide told us of 32 or 34 deer that were yarded up in the winter and two coyotes came in, in one night and killed them all. Now with chronic wasting disease coming on that will be just one more problem. All things equal when predators increase in numbers, prey numbers decrease , however when the prey numbers drop low enough, predator numbers will decrease, many moving to another area to find prey.