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Originally Posted by GLS
And sometimes that isn't enough. The book, Coyotes of the South, reported that game biologists conducted a study at the Savannah River Plant (known locally as the "bomb plant") wherein intervaginal transmitters were inserted into pregnant does so that biologists could home in quickly to the site of birth to determine fawn survival at birth. There were extensive losses due to coyotes as established by DNA analysis on the fawn remains. Over 500 coyotes were removed from the area of study. After the removal, the rate of fawn predation pretty much remained the same as other coyotes quickly moved into the area.

50 years ago, hunters in the western states were killing and poisoning coyotes. And eastern and southern hunters weren't even having this conversation. In addition, avian predator numbers were still relatively low due to decades of trapping, shooting, and even States paying bounties to keep them under control.

The bounties on hawks and owls stopped before I was old enough to hunt. Trapping declined greatly too, for various reasons. And watching the spread of the Eastern Coyote leaves me convinced that they all did not move east and South naturally. Call me a conspiracy nut, but the big explosion in coyote population came as the number of deer/vehicle collisions got really bad. I truly believe that either Game Commissions or Insurance companies, or both, embarked on introducing coyotes to control deer reproduction by decreasing fawn mortality due to predation. There is even evidence that they are hybridized with wolves. One mangy coyote I shot a few years ago in my field was just shy of 5 feet long from nose to tail. My friends who formed a local coyote hunting club have shown me pictures of coyotes that are large enough to kill most hunting dogs.

We have seen that an established coyote population is very efficient at killing fawns. Problem is, they are also very efficient at killing everything else from mice, to game birds, to rabbits, and even smaller predators such as fox and feral cats..

This wouldn't be the first time well meaning biologists have introduced an invasive species, and the experiment went wrong. You will never get them to admit this either. I will try to do my part by putting a bullet in every coyote I possibly can. But our best hope is for some virus or disease that kills coyotes, but not our dogs. Hawks are another problem. There are enough of them that I have no problem with those who shoot, shovel, and shut-up. They are not endangered, but our Game birds are barely hanging on, even with supplemental stocking.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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Originally Posted by BrentD
Fire ants can't be helping. I'd worry about them a lot more than raptors. But some folks are born to be poachers.
The fire ants showed up in Tennessee in the late 1970s....the quail disappeared shortly after.

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Keith, there are some who contend that coyotes crossed the Mississippi river in dog boxes in the back of pick up trucks carrying yotes to fox pens for release and hunting by dog packs. They are clever escape artists and many escaped from the fenced in acreage. There's one account in the book I mentioned where one coyote escaped three times from a pen and the pen owner paid the trapper a $100 each time it was re-trapped. On the third return after paying the trapper, he shot the coyote while still in the crate as he was determined not to pay for another escape. Coyotes are susceptible to all dog killing diseases in the south, especially heartworms. They don't live long but can reproduce fast. There's evidence to suggest that their dusk and night singing is key to population explosions and decreases. Apparently there is belief in some biologists that hormonal responses to the density of population in an area controls litter size. The amount of singing heard by the females triggers the hormonal response controlling litter size according to some. The fewer calls heard, the bigger the litter and vice versa. Gil

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I love the conspiracy theories. Ridiculous, but entertaining.

GLS, a grad student of mine and I saw what was probably the first coyote on the bomb plant back in 92 or 93. Lehr Brisbane was watching for them and not surprised when we told him what we had seen. They certainly got there on their own.

As for the study that removed 500 of them, when was that done? Was it like their Feral Pig contracts where one pig is removed 500 times, or really 500 coyotes? I suspect something more like the former than the latter. The feral pig control on the plant was notorious for being a joke. And the bomb plant is pretty darn small for 500 coyotes, at least if they are claiming that for a single year or two. FWIW, I never heard of coyote removals in the time I was there, so this must be something relatively recent.


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You dont know nothing about coyotes either....an NRA article years ago said hunting clubs in Georgia imported coyotes.

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Originally Posted by BrentD
....... a grad student of mine and I saw what was probably the first coyote on the bomb plant back in 92 or 93. Lehr Brisbane was watching for them and not surprised when we told him what we had seen. They certainly got there on their own.

I was trapping predators for fur hard in the late 70s and early 80s. Those were very lean years on the farm, and my yearly income was substantially boosted with fur sales in Dec.- Feb. I was primarily a fox trapper, but caught many bobcat and 'coon. Prices were awesome. There were many others trapping in my county, and adjacent ones in GA. We compared notes often. We began catching coyotes in the early 80s, almost directly across the river from the Savannah River Site, and easily within 4 miles of the southeastern part of SRS's property. The Savannah River is the dividing line between SRS and the parts of GA we were trapping.

If it is accurate that you saw the first coyote on SRS, in '92-'93, I find it very strange that it took them 10+ years to cross the Savannah River, as proficient as they are at swimming. I also would say that you should count yourself blessed beyond normal comprehension that you saw the first coyote to set foot on SRS, considering it is no less than 198,046 acres, or 310 square miles. I know we all like to think we have "discovered" something, from time to time, but that's a bit of a stretch, IMO. And, 310 square miles is a gracious plenty for not just 500 coyotes but 5000 or more, especially considering that SRS is mostly woodlands, and prime coyote habitat.


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The book wherein I read the report of 500 being trapped on SRS is Coyotes Settle the South by John Lane. The biologist interviewed by the author is John Kilgo, son of the late author, James Kilgo. It doesn't give the time frame but the book was published in 2016 by the UGA press. Professional trappers removed 150 to 175 coyotes per year for 3 years on three sectors of the SRS which was 4-5 yotes per square mile per year for three years. According to Kilgo, it didn't make a difference. Gil

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10 yrs would seem to be a long time to cross the Savannah. It's not a big river. But they were not seen on the SRS until 92 or 93. Of that I am sure. Not being seen is not the same as not being there though Brisbane was probably watching pretty closely with traps and what not. We were doing field work every day, so we were in the field more than almost anyone.

It, in no way, could hold 5000 coyotes. That's ridiculous. It's only 20 miles across, roughly round. 770 sq km as I recall.

500 over 3 yrs maybe. Still doubtful. Kilgo is believable to a point, but most of the pigs removed under contract were removed multiple times - so one has to be suspicious of the coyote data if they did it by bidding contracts.


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Many hunters around here welcomed the coyotes back after the poisoning and aerial hunting stopped. Our worst duck and upland gamebird egg predators, striped skunks, raccoons, and red fox, decreased. Hatching rates of ducks increased and I believe it did for sharp-tailed grouse, gray partridge, and ring-necked pheasants although I haven't seen any study results. Sadly, we no longer have seasons on sage grouse, but that has to do with habitat loss, not predation. The state began spending less money on deer depredation on farmers and ranchers hay supplies. Mountain lions repopulated most of the state and undoubtedly helped reduce high deer populations. Fishers and pine martens have returned to North Dakota. We have seasons on mountain sheep, elk, and moose. Coyote hunting and trapping are still popular, we have a quota system on lions, a crow season, and a healthy, if somewhat smaller white-tailed deer population and a healthy population of mule deer out west. I like the system. In my opinion, what we need now for native wildlife is more wetland management. We have hundreds of thousands of acres of formerly productive meadows and basins choked with hybrid cattail and willow whose value to wildlife now is thermal cover for deer and pheasants and even that is marginal during years with lots of snow.

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Habitat loss is a cop out....

Next they'll blame it on global warming.

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