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What exactly are my Coyotes eating?

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What exactly are my Coyotes eating?

Old 11-21-2014, 05:20 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default What exactly are my Coyotes eating?

I live in SC and it seems we have a pretty bad Yote problem. Some people I have talked to said they havent even see a single spotted deer this year. Even though I live on my farm and have heard them this is actually the first year I have seen Coyotes. My dad and I have seen 4 this year. I even had one of them walk out not 15 feet from me to check me out when I pulled up to a stand on my 4wheeler. I have also heard them more this year as well, even right behind my house maybe 20 yards away from the sound of them.

But then something else I have seen leads me to believe we dont have any Coyotes at all. I have seen fawns with literally every single doe and even with twins on occasion. I have also seen, and heard a lot more Turkeys this year. Even my Quail population is way up and I was able to call them into the yard and even saw them running across the grass from my bedroom window every now and then.

So what exactly are the Coyotes I see and hear eating? I remember my trapper not getting a single one earlier this year on my land but caught 7 or 8 across the road. So are they just passing through and dont actually stay on my land?
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:04 AM
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Coyotes eat a whole lot more than deer and fawns. The bulk of their diet in pretty much the same as fox. Small rodents, mice, voles squirrels, rabbits and pretty much anything they can catch, they also will eat berries and mushrooms, housecats and fox. Remember, the population of predators is directly related to the prey populations.
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:12 AM
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Coyotes are very adaptable. They will eat just about anything. By the way, where I grew up in CO there were lots of coyotes and the rule of thumb was for every one you saw there were at least 5 more you didn't see.

If I was you I'd get a couple predator calls and do some coyote hunting. Besides being fun you can sell the skins for some pocket change.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by X_Rayted35 View Post
what exactly are the Coyotes I see and hear eating? I remember my trapper not getting a single one earlier this year on my land but caught 7 or 8 across the road. So are they just passing through and dont actually stay on my land?
I do kill coyotes anytime I have the opportunity, but I do believe depending on where you are, they are not to blame for reductions in deer sightings as much as people would believe them to be. They are opportunistic predators, and will certainly kill a whitetail if given the opportunity, but primarily feed on smaller animals like field mice, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels, etc.

Whenever I am bushhogging or planting foodplots, I intentionally leave a significant part of my fields to grow up unchecked in order to promote habitat for small mammals with the intent of providing an alternate food source for coyotes and other predators. We also have bobcats, foxes, feral dogs, hawks, lots of owls. Also provides habitat for rabbits and the occasional covey of quail.

One could say I am attracting coyotes and other predators, but we have always had them, even when we used to completely cut our fields for hay twice a year, so I like to think that I am taking pressure off the deer, even if just a little.

Depending on what your property consists of, they may very well just pass through to hunt or seek out other coyotes. Like beavers, you can kill and trap all the coyotes around and it is only a matter of time before more move in and lay claim to the area.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by deers2ward View Post
I do kill coyotes anytime I have the opportunity, but I do believe depending on where you are, they are not to blame for reductions in deer sightings as much as people would believe them to be.
Data from research done in many states would prove you wrong in this case. It's well documented over the last decade the devastating effect coyotes and fawn depredation has on deer populations. The snippet that sticks out for me is that studies done in 5 states, from down east to way up north west proved that in areas with coyote control measures in place, one fawn survives for every 2 doe in the population. For areas in those states WITHOUT depredation prevention measures, it took 21 doe to survive one fawn through the first year. A factor of 10x is pretty indicative that coyotes are a main driver in deer populations.

The simple answer to find out what your coyotes are eating is to grab a stick and go find some scat. You'll find anything from berries and seeds to fibrous plant matter (grass) to rodent bones, fur, feathers, insect carapaces and legs, etc. Dark black scat generally indicates that they're eating more protein, so if you're not finding a lot of small bones or rabbit fur in dark black scat, it usually means they're feeding on larger game (except of course during calving season around cattle herds, where they'll get a steady diet of afterbirth that blackens their scat). If it's dark, yet floats, then they're generally getting a good supply of fatty meats. Berries and some grains can darken it, so don't be mislead by "purple" scat, protein/blood yields blacks, not purples.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Nomercy448 View Post
Data from research done in many states would prove you wrong in this case. It's well documented over the last decade the devastating effect coyotes and fawn depredation has on deer populations.
Not just deer. They can cause havoc with antelope, elk, nesting birds, small game, turkeys, pets, livestock etc... Like I said, they are very adaptable. it is literally easier to make a list of what they won't eat than it is to make a list of what they will eat.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:54 AM
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Yotes will eat anything that they can get.
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:17 AM
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A study in SW Montana by the Montana FWP biologists showed that within the first 6 months after they were born, 45% of the mule deer fawns were killed by coyotes.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:52 AM
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Not to deviate from the OPs question, but to clarify my opinion that coyotes receive more blame than they deserve, at least in the southeastern US relative to whitetails (this is the Whitetail Deer Hunting forum, right?): An equal root cause of decline is from several years ago when many who only partially understood QDM thought it was a great idea to have "doe blast" days where they would literally pile up 10-12 does on a 400 acre piece of property before the rut.

Some local populations can support that and benefit from it, but many whose properties could not were mis-informed about what that was going to do for them. Practices on a 10K acre ranch with year round feeders in Texas don't necessarily translate to a 500 acre property with marginal habitat and food surrounded by equal or smaller parcels with the same.
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:28 PM
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Practices on a 10K acre ranch with year round feeders in Texas don't necessarily translate to a 500 acre property with marginal habitat and food surrounded by equal or smaller parcels with the same.
If the habitat is marginal, removing more does would be a benefit. There's not enough food to eat as it is. I agree about the practices not being the same when it comes to the cull buck theory.
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