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Thread: Coyotes Are there really that many of them?

  1. #1
    Twelve Pointer
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    Default Coyotes Are there really that many of them?

    All of this talk about low deer numbers and overpopulation of coyotes got me thinking. Are there really as many coyotes out as we think? I have been hunting for 20 years. I have hunted in alleghany, Ashe, Alexander, buncombe, Catawba, Chatham, McDowell Granville Stokes Vance and Wilkes counties. I have been running trail cameras since 2003. On average I hunt 35 days a year, small game hunt another 10 days and spend another 30-40 scouting and working my leases. Not to mention all the time I spend camping and hiking. I keep extensive journals of my hunting experiences. In 20 years I have never seen a coyote while deer hunting. In fact, I have only seen 2 coyotes while engaged in a hunting activity. I did not get a coyote on trail camera until 2010. In total, I have less than 50 pictures of coyotes on camera. A lot of them showed up in Wilkes when we had our die off. They scavenged on the dead deer. I got 3 pictures of coyotes this year and the last one was in September. I have 12 trail cameras in the woods right now in 3 different counties. If coyotes are so abundant, then why are we not seeing more of them?

  2. #2
    Four Pointer
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    I haven't had a pic of one since last August, I get about 5-6 pics a year at most, rabbits cats and deer around so in my area don't seem like many.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by timekiller13 View Post
    All of this talk about low deer numbers and overpopulation of coyotes got me thinking. Are there really as many coyotes out as we think? I have been hunting for 20 years. I have hunted in alleghany, Ashe, Alexander, buncombe, Catawba, Chatham, McDowell Granville Stokes Vance and Wilkes counties. I have been running trail cameras since 2003. On average I hunt 35 days a year, small game hunt another 10 days and spend another 30-40 scouting and working my leases. Not to mention all the time I spend camping and hiking. I keep extensive journals of my hunting experiences. In 20 years I have never seen a coyote while deer hunting. In fact, I have only seen 2 coyotes while engaged in a hunting activity. I did not get a coyote on trail camera until 2010. In total, I have less than 50 pictures of coyotes on camera. A lot of them showed up in Wilkes when we had our die off. They scavenged on the dead deer. I got 3 pictures of coyotes this year and the last one was in September. I have 12 trail cameras in the woods right now in 3 different counties. If coyotes are so abundant, then why are we not seeing more of them?
    There is a healthy population of coyotes in NC but they tend to be nomadic and more dense in some areas than others. I guess I have the unpopular opinion that they are NOT detrimental to our deer herd or other wildlife. They are opportunistic feeders. They'll eat roadkill or dead hole carcasses before they will kill to eat. While they eat small bones in animals, they cannot and do not eat skulls and legbones of deer. With the constant controversy surrounding their threat to our deer herd, my stock question is where are all the skeletons, skulls. etc? Look at any pile of coyote scat and 99% of it will contain mouse and meadow vole hair. There is no way I can account for how many I've killed. I've cut them open and looked in their stomachs and never found anything but stinking crap! Nothing that could be identified as a deer. Just my 2 cents.

  4. #4
    Twelve Pointer nc rabbit hunter's Avatar
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    Visit Sampson,Pender,duplin,johnston and Harnett.I see them weekly,on all cameras every check,and every nite I hear them! We may have more downeast.If u want to get a count load some sirens on a foxpro and theyll talk back to ya!!
    Southeastern Beagle Club/Clinton,NC
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  5. #5
    Twelve Pointer nc rabbit hunter's Avatar
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    Songdog every pile of yote crap on our leases downeast are nothing but deer hair.
    Southeastern Beagle Club/Clinton,NC
    Cottontail Connection Gundog Kennels
    Devils Racetrack Wildlife Club/ JoCo Lowgrounds
    Mill Creek Buck Club/Harrells,NC
    Trophy Buck Hunting Club/Lillington,NC
    Moonshine Hunting Club/ Harrells,NC

  6. #6
    Six Pointer
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    You don't see coyotes, but they see YOU. I'm like you, in that I spend countless hours out on the farm hunting, trapping, scouting, riding my motorcross bike through the woods, etc.. In all those years, I've only seen two coyotes and both of them were hauling and I just coincidently caught a glimpse of them before they disappeared. A coyote's survival depends on him being stealthy...and he's very good at it!

    Just this past spring, the landowner I'm now trapping coyotes for was watering his cows one evening at dusk. All of a sudden, two F-15's out of Seymour Johnson came screaming over at treetop level on a low-level training run (his farm is under a designated low-level flight path for S-J jets) and scared the schizzle out of him. It also scared the 4 coyotes that were surrounding him on all sides about 100 yards out, as they went to howling back and forth with one another for several minutes. He had never seen them and has fed and watered his cows daily since 2008. He called me and told me what happened and told me "They've got to go! Bring some traps!"

    Coyotes know to stay away from us, lay low, and keep quiet ...unless frightened by F-15's.
    Tom Anderson
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nc rabbit hunter View Post
    Songdog every pile of yote crap on our leases downeast are nothing but deer hair.
    That's cause they've been getting those free venison meals from all of the roadside carcass dumping that goes on down there

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Songdoghunter View Post
    There is a healthy population of coyotes in NC but they tend to be nomadic and more dense in some areas than others. I guess I have the unpopular opinion that they are NOT detrimental to our deer herd or other wildlife. They are opportunistic feeders. They'll eat roadkill or dead hole carcasses before they will kill to eat. While they eat small bones in animals, they cannot and do not eat skulls and legbones of deer. With the constant controversy surrounding their threat to our deer herd, my stock question is where are all the skeletons, skulls. etc? Look at any pile of coyote scat and 99% of it will contain mouse and meadow vole hair. There is no way I can account for how many I've killed. I've cut them open and looked in their stomachs and never found anything but stinking crap! Nothing that could be identified as a deer. Just my 2 cents.
    I am with you. I don't think they kill near as many deer as people think they do. Do they get some? Absolutely! But they are not decimating the deer population. As for them being so elusive, I don't buy that crap. Bobcats are way more secretive creatures and I see them several times a year. I have yet to see any evidence of a deer killed coyote in any of my leases. I have found a few dead that coyotes had chewed in. But the deer had clearly died from natural causes or a hunters poorly placed shot and the yotes just cleaned up the mess.

  9. #9
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    I think where they are really hurting the deer herd is in the spring when the fawns drop. I don't believe they are going to take down very many adult deer, but they are hammering the fawns.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbh78 View Post
    I think where they are really hurting the deer herd is in the spring when the fawns drop. I don't believe they are going to take down very many adult deer, but they are hammering the fawns.
    Correct. And a very well referenced "controlled" study on a military reservation where they were able to tag fawns in-utero, showed, I believe, something like a 70% mortality rate due to depredation by coyotes.
    Jimmy Pierce can probably quote the specific numbers.
    Tom Anderson
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    4-H Rifle Instructor
    High Power Service Rifle XTC Master

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