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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know what level of annual losses can be attributed to predation by bear and coyote on the deer herd? I am curious because of the numbers of coyotes we have in my area as well as bear. Thanks.
 

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I have read several studies on coyotes. And most states studies that I have read on the internet show they have a very significant impact on deer.
 

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If populations are low enough, predators alone could probably keep the population in check. In some areas os PA, this may be occurring.
 

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the last 4 coyote i shot have all been chasing deer when i shot them. i think its alot higher than they would lead you to belive.
 

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I see a lot of droppings with deer hair in them. And i am sure it is not all just from scavenging.

I like having coyotes around. I like to hunt them, and it might sound strange but they also add to the wildlife diversity and make Pa seem like a wilder place by them being here compared to years ago when there were very few and in most places none. But yeah, I think they do kill a good bit of deer and the coyotes need to be kept in check.
 

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I'm thinking the impact is too low.....don't know the figures tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I should have added not just adults but fawns too. I've been told that they are both pretty hard on fawns, just wondering how accurate that theory might be.
 

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dpms said:
If populations are low enough, predators alone could probably keep the population in check. In some areas os PA, this may be occurring.
I believe you are right and I definitely believe it is occurring, at least in one of the areas I frequent.
 

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They both get their fair share of fawns, but it basically depends on the habitat type, and to some degree the density of the predators. Statewide, out of all fawn mortality, roughly 46% is due to predation. Of that 46%, bears kill roughly 33%, and coyotes kill roughly 37%. Predation is relatively high in forested areas with a sparse understory, around 70%, and relatively low in agricultural areas, around 17%. Predation affects on healthy adult deer are minimal.
 

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Abstract

Estimates of survival and cause-specific mortality of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
fawns are important to population management. We quantified cause-specific mortality,
survival rates, and habitat characteristics related to fawn survival in a forested landscape
and an agricultural landscape in central Pennsylvania. We captured and radiocollared
neonatal (<3 weeks) fawns in 2000–2001 and monitored fawns from capture until
death, transmitter failure or collar release, or the end of the study. We estimated survivorship
functions and assessed influence on fawn survival of road density, habitat edge density,
habitat patch diversity, and proportion of herbaceous habitat. We captured 110 fawns
in the agricultural landscape and 108 fawns in the forested landscape. At 9 weeks after
capture, fawn survival was 72.4% (95% CI=63.3–80.0%) in the agricultural landscape and
57.2% (95% CI=47.5–66.3%) in the forested landscape. Thirty-four-week survival was
52.9% (95% CI = 42.7–62.8%) in the agricultural landscape and 37.9% (95% CI =
27.7–49.3%) in the forested landscape. We detected no relationship between fawn survival
and road density, percent herbaceous cover, habitat edge density, or habitat patch
diversity (all P>0.05). <span style="font-weight: bold">Predation accounted for 46.2% (95% CI=37.6–56.7%) of 106 mortalities
through 34 weeks. We attributed 32.7% (95% CI=21.9–48.6%) and 36.7% (95%
CI=25.5–52.9%) of 49 predation events to black bears (Ursus americanus) and coyotes
(Canis latrans), respectively. Natural causes, excluding predation, accounted for 27.4%
(95% CI=20.1–37.3) of mortalities. Fawn survival in Pennsylvania was comparable to
reported survival in forested and agricultural regions in northern portions of the whitetailed
deer range. We have no evidence to suggest that the fawn survival rates we observed
were preventing population growth.</span> Because white-tailed deer are habitat generalists,
home-range-scale habitat characteristics may be unrelated to fawn survival; therefore,
future studies should consider landscape-related characteristics on fawn survival.
 

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Bluetick beat me to it. Click his link, it's all in there. It's a good read if numbers are your thing, and you like to read. I happened to be lucky enough put collars on a good number of those fawns.
 

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"In some northern states, deer herd densities are relatively low and their habitat consists of vast wild areas with severe winter weather. In Maine, food habitat studies showed that white-tailed deer made up 50-60% of the coyote’s diet, and this predation had the potential to have significant negative effects on the deer herd. Coyote predation in the high mountain areas of West Virginia with lower deer populations and severe winters is likely to have more effect on the deer herd than in areas with higher deer populations."
 

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I think it was January 2011 at the quarterly meeting that a rep from unified presented a presentation on what he thought were excessive predation on deer by coyotes and bears. I recall he was more concerned with coyotes. He got like 15 or 20 minutes of meeting time to make his uninterrupted presentation.

The BOC then asked him questions for about 10 minutes or so.

When Rosenberry finished his presentation, the BOC then asked him questions on the topic for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Basically, if predation or all other farm mortality was an issue, it would show up in the harvest reports and other data. It doesn't and Rosenberry went through the data sets explaining where it would show up and why.

A very detailed Q & A session for all concerned and it was off the cuff as the allotment of time to Unified was granted that morning - as I understand it.

As important, the Furbearer Section biologist was called in to answer about another 20 minutes of questions on the topic as well - in addition to his usual staff presentation.
 

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Yea, looks really interesting actually. And if those numbers are from 2001, I have a feeling that the bear predation has increased a fair amount since then. A lot more bears in my area (Warren Cty) since that time anyway. Thanks.
 

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Had to have been 2010 on a bit of reflection.
 

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In the end, the discussion revolved around the need for (or not) for another study to update the figures.

Funding was the issue that resolved the question. No money was available for the study then or seen on the horizon. Though there was support at that point to do another study if the funds became available.
 

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My area of 2A has a high yote population and they have lowered our deer numbers, but i have noticed a huge decline in groundhogs over the last five years or so. I used to kill 30 to 40 hogs over the summer now i am lucky to get 8 to 10.
 

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I am pretty certain they have a bad impact. I remember when we had deer and I went out after season just to get out and look around. Every deer trail or track I saw also had yote tracks there. One thing once the deer vanished the coyotes pretty much thinned out so my assumption is that yes deer are a staple of coyotes in the winter especially and when the deer disappear most of the coyote population will follow.
 
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