Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

Okay, this Bud's for you RSB, Mr Deer 'Wintering Grounds' Genius.

Kip Adams (QDMA Wildlife Biologist) has an article in the April-May 2014 issue of Quality Whitetails where he cites declining fawn recruitment statistics (due to predators) from his 700 acre Tioga County PA farm 2002-2013. Data is collected from trail cam surveys, hunter observation, pellet counts, and harvested deer. Here are some excerpts:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kip Adams
As deer managers our best shot is to provide the best habitat possible and remove as many coyotes as possible just before fawns hit the ground.

One final piece of the background information is we have a lot of coyotes, a lot of bears and a lot fewer deer than in years past.
They shot 74 adult doe in 3 years for a reduction of >100 dpsm down to 50 dpsm by 2004. Coupled with forest management to the point where their forester commented “We were the poster child for oak regeneration in PA”.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kip Adams
From 2004 to 2011 the deer density on our farm was relatively stable.

Shooting fewer adult does should have allowed our deer herd to grow, but something else was at play, something else was forcing us to shoot fewer does to keep the deer herd form further decline, something else was taking away our fun, and that something else was a growing predator population.

However, just like deer, beavers and every other wildlife species, their [predator] numbers and impacts need to be managed.

If we shot as many adult does today as we did 5 to 10 years ago, we would drive the deer herd to a very low density. It’s easy to simply blame predators for this, and many hunters do. However, I have the data to support this claim.





This data suggest that a decade ago we recruited 1½ fawns for every 2 does – not 2 fawns per doe as many hunters assume. That was a good recruitment rate, and it nearly mirrored the national average at the time. Five years ago we also recruited 1½ fawns for every 2 does, so things were still good. However, today we recruit just over 1 fawn for every 2 does. I don’t know how many fawns hit the ground in the spring on our farm, but I can assure you it is way more than 1 fawn for every 2 does.

Given that we significantly reduced the deer herd and balanced it with our habitat a decade ago, an additional decline of this magnitude is a big deal, and it translates to greatly reduced deer observation rates while hunting.

This is not a result of a small sample size. We have thousands of hours of observation data over the past 12 years…

So the data suggests that far fewer fawns are surviving today.

Except our increasing body weights by age class suggest increasing health, we have good habitat and good fawning cover, and we’ve had no disease outbreaks.

I don’t know how many coyotes are in our area although we hear, photograph, and see their sign regularly. Conversely, I do have some measure of the bears in our area, and it is a lot. During the 2012 archery season I actually had more bears than does in bow range.

Unfortunately you cannot shoot bears during PA’s archery season. A quick post-season survey showed ours and five neighboring camps killed a total of 19 bears! Tioga county… harvest rate averaged one bear per 132 acres! Not surprisingly those same camps that shot 19 bears only shot 17 bucks.

I know that we recruit fewer fawns today than in past years. I also know we have high predator numbers that are impacting fawn survival… we shoot as many bears as possible. I wish we could shoot bears during archery season, and I wish we could trap coyote in the spring.

Wherever you live or hunt, I strongly encourage you to monitor the deer herd as much as possible… It’s also helpful to share that information with your state or wildlife agency.
Unfortunately trying to monitor the deer herd on SGL is practically impossible.

His experience though mirrors that of the people I know who have camps upstate hunting public ground where they really only use them for bear hunting & vacation anymore. For deer they trek to NY or hunt around home in Berks/Montgomery where deer hunting is still worthwhile.

It's time to cut more trees annually on SGL & time for spring coyote trapping!

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post #2 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 12:57 AM
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Re: Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

one thing that i'm having trouble understanding, well two actually.

the first is in the first excerpt, and it's underlined. what difference would it make if i kill a coyote a week before the fawns hit the ground or in the previous december when they've just been conceived? dead is dead, no? less yotes=less yotes, no?

the second thing is why, after all this time, would we start to beleive anything kip adams has to say? for the last decade, he's been the devil.

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post #3 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 01:46 AM
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Re: Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

50 deer per square mile!!?
No wonder he has a high number of predators in his area!
Good luck controlling predator numbers with such high prey numbers. What predator (bear or yote) wouldn't want to hang around a place with 50dpsm?
Yellodog,
Yotes are known to adjust birthing rates to declining numbers. When heavily targeted, they have larger litters. We could kill em' til the sun don't shine, they'll keep coming back. This isn't my opinion, studies have been conducted especially so in Texas.

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post #4 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 02:24 AM
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Re: Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

And where does your snippets of the total story say anything one way or the other about the value of wintering grounds habitats?

The fact is it doesn’t say anything about wintering grounds habitats. So why did you use this piece in you attack on what is really just pure commonsense being combined with decades of both observation and study?

Everyone knows coyotes, along with just about every other predator from raccoons on up, kill fawns after they are born. Therefore I don't see anything in this post as a revelation in knew found knowledge.

Perhaps if the deer had better wintering grounds habitat those fawns would be born healthier, at the correct birth weight, and thus able to have a better chance of avoiding predation. That really is how nature works whether you like to acknowledge that fact or not.

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post #5 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 03:10 AM
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Re: Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

Quote:
Originally Posted by R. S. B.
And where does your snippets of the total story say anything one way or the other about the value of wintering grounds habitats?

The fact is it doesn’t say anything about wintering grounds habitats. So why did you use this piece in you attack on what is really just pure commonsense being combined with decades of both observation and study?

Everyone knows coyotes, along with just about every other predator from raccoons on up, kill fawns after they are born. Therefore I don't see anything in this post as a revelation in knew found knowledge.

Perhaps if the deer had better wintering grounds habitat those fawns would be born healthier, at the correct birth weight, and thus able to have a better chance of avoiding predation. That really is how nature works whether you like to acknowledge that fact or not.

Dick Bodenhorn
Adams says the body weights have increased across age classes, he has good habitat, along with good fawning cover. We would have to assume that his wintering habitat is sufficient and not an issue.
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post #6 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 03:40 AM
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Re: Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

As was all ready stated above. 50 dpsm is a lot of good eats for the coyotes.

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post #7 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 04:31 AM
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Re: Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

Predator population increase is being noticed in areas where there is considerably less dpsm also. In the 2001 fawn mortality study PGC acknowledged that predation is killing fawns but not enough that the herd wouldn't increase. What Adams is pointing out is that trend is changing.
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post #8 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSB
The fact is it doesn’t say anything about wintering grounds habitats. So why did you use this piece in you attack on what is really just pure commonsense being combined with decades of both observation and study?
“Wintering grounds” is your go-to subject anymore, so I just decided to make that your nickname. No need to make any more of it than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSB
Everyone knows coyotes, along with just about every other predator from raccoons on up, kill fawns after they are born. Therefore I don't see anything in this post as a revelation in knew found knowledge.
Really? You’re not even going to acknowledge INCREASED predation, documented by a certified biologist with the top deer management advocate of today? I’m disappointed.

The evidence is mounting Dick, but you’re still in Stage #1 denial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSB
Perhaps if the deer had better wintering grounds habitat those fawns would be born healthier, at the correct birth weight, and thus able to have a better chance of avoiding predation. That really is how nature works whether you like to acknowledge that fact or not.
Kip cites INCREASING doe weights indicating increased individual health. Being a QDMA outreach guy with more than 1 sq mile to work with, I’m certain he has also successfully addressed buck:doe ratio & buck age structure to ensure the highest possible embryo rates. This all of course translates into higher fawn birth weights, more milk etc., he even notes improved fawning COVER!

And you conclude his problem is small birth size and lack of “wintering grounds”. Wow! That’s not even logical, let alone theoretical. For Pete’s sake, bear harvest across his entire county is thru the roof!

I think I’ll write Kip a letter and tell him to just be patient for another 100 to 150 years (give or take ¼-century) for the “true benefits” of the “wintering grounds” to take effect. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to tell his grandkids that.

You’ve been preaching and preaching that if there could just be a higher deer kill, then there’d be more fawns. That it’s ALL due to habitat, that the herd is growing and that’s the problem, etc. etc.

Here we have a herd cut literally in half with increasing health, yet there is declining fawn recruitment per doe. And you’re going to blame ‘wintering grounds’, not predation???

This is a text book example of the need for improved predator control in PA. Kip has total control of his deer population via DMAP, but his hands are tied when it comes to predators. Why? Because he does not have the backing of the forest products industry to establish Coyote-MAP or Bear-MAP! That’s why.

DCNR loves DMAP, but couldn’t care less about predator control because the lack of it plays into their hand of deer control to increase timber profits. If the PGC doesn’t address predators soon, it will be even more evident we’ve been hoodwinked.

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post #9 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 12:34 PM
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Re: Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

50 DPMS and lots of oak growing in Tioga co no less imagine that.The Gameless Commission has been late to the party on the coyote from the start and until they acknowledge the problem by greatly reducing anterless tags one gets the feeling they like the current situation just as it is. we quit shooting does on our property 5 yrs ago and are just holding our own in having a stabilized population. Can't imagine what our population would be if we blindly followed the gameless commission and was sacking 2doe/ hunter. Since they want to RAISE the tags by 9000 in 2D probably be able to get 3 tags this yr Whoopee!
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post #10 of 206 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 01:54 PM
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Re: Fawning Time = Lunch Time for Predators: Kip Adams

There's plenty of bears in my hunting areas! I see them on a regular basis. One year I actually saw more bears than deer in archery season.there some coyotes too! Coyotes are hard to control but bears we can do something about that. It's time for concurrent bear and deer season across the whole state from start of archery through end of rifle. I believe they got like 4 or 5 from one farm this year not far from one of my hunting spots. That's too many bears!!
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