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Coyotes and Southern Ohio Deer

What is the opinion on coyote predation of white tails? Do they take large numbers of fawns in the spring?

We hunted Tranquility Wildlife area for part of muzzle loader season. I got into some pretty thick cover and found many game trails that were covered in dog prints. Coyotes? Local pet dogs, or bird and rabbit dogs that have been on the property? I don’t know, many of the prints looked too big to be beagle or spaniel.
 

ThatBuckeyeGuy

Active Member
903
46
Ohio
Never heard of it but when I googled it the first video and pictures that popped up were people's pet dogs on the trails . Hopefully someone local or familiar to the area will be along shortly to help answer your question. Coyote predation on deer varies widely by county and changes yearly. We used to hunt raccoons around here alot but now the only person I know left locally that still runs them is my uncle. Could be different in southern ohio just another thought
 

SNIPERBBB

Member
80
17
Se ohio
Two of the main things I tell guys how to tell if it's a coyote track vs a domestic dog:

One is to look at the middle two toenails of the track, on a coyote they will almost be touching. Dog track, they will be well separated and pointing away from each other.

The second is that a coyote track will be somewhat of elongated diamond shape and the toes will all be closely together. Dog tracks tend to be rounder and toes spread out
 

Bigcountry40

Member
4,529
127
From my understanding the EHD has been the largest contributing factor to deer decline in parts of south east Ohio for the past few years. In the 2010s it was probably the liberal amount of deer tags hunters were allocated by the state. Welcome to the site. I’ve watched and listened to several YouTube/podcasters talk about their amazement in the lack of deer sign and actual encounters when hunting south east public in ohio, so you are not alone
 
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giles

Cull buck specialist
Supporting Member
Shortly, with the technology of these drones we will have no excuses as to knowing what the land holds. It amazes me how well and quick they tell you exactly what is around. I am going to stand by with the habitat and nutrition being the biggest factor to no fawns. I don't think they are making it past the gestation period.
 

Floki

Junior Member
1,157
63
Shortly, with the technology of these drones we will have no excuses as to knowing what the land holds. It amazes me how well and quick they tell you exactly what is around. I am going to stand by with the habitat and nutrition being the biggest factor to no fawns. I don't think they are making it past the gestation period.

Yup hard winters or low food will cause a deer to actually consume its own fetus.

It’s also said if they have two Fetus inside they can choose which one they consume . Male/Female.

I believe this to be part of the problem mixed in with a bowl of other things.

Wish I could remember the name of the book I read many years ago.I actually borrowed the book from Blendon woods park in Columbus from their welcome cabin.

By far the best book I ever read . So many things in it I never knew.

Anyone close to there I would recommend seeing if it’s still there and ask to borrow it or get the name of it and Ebook it.

5 Stars
 
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Bigcountry40

Member
4,529
127
Coyotes are not as hard on deer as people think. They take a nominal percentage of them, but habitat, nutrition, disease, and unscrupulous humans take far more from the herd than song dogs.
At my old deer camp, the old timers (several are now dead) loved to blame coyotes for our decline in deer, in reality several guys were filling their six tags a year there. I once suggested it could be us and was almost tarred and feathered.
 

LonewolfNopack

Junior Member
1,493
127
The woods
I agree with above sentiment. Coyotes are 100% a problem for deer. So are the guys wracking and stacking does in low deer population areas. Our family property has low deer numbers and coyotes contribute to that, but more so are the neighbors who hunt till season end to fill every tag that they are alloted. I've never killed a doe off of our property, ever. Tranquility wildlife area is also like every other public land in our state in that it gets hammered all season. I'd say by muzzleloader many deer are either dead, ran off the property or have gone nocturnal. Still, there are certainly big ones killed in that area every year.
 
Thanks for the input. We have been hunting Tar Hollow for 30 years during gun season, there are far, far less deer there than there used to be. There used to be "deer highways" through the woods, now there are deer tracks. I emailed the ODNR about deer population densities. They sent me the data about bucks tagged in each county. I told them that that information was already readily available, I was hoping for a more granular study. They ignored that email. I'm reasonably sure they have better information but choose not to share it.

The specific factors in Tar Hollow probably look something like this:
1) Less clearcutting, leading to less ideal habitat, also the clear cuts are more selective cutting, leaving way more trash behind, creating less "meadow-forest" edges.
a. the grouse are also gone, the songbirds are scarce and there are piles of uneaten acorns everywhere.
2) EHD
3) Over hunting, we know of at least two organized hunts at Tar Hollow.
4) Poaching: the current tagging system makes it far far less risky to poach deer on public land: shoot the deer, fill out the tag, turn the cell phone off, (because the battery died), and drive the deer home. If the ODNR stops along the way, show the officer the tag and dead phone, and tell him it will logged in at home. Not stopped along the way, get the deer in the freezer and tear up the tag, pull a clean tag off the pile ( made 10 copies), lather, rinse, repeat.
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
38,785
260
They ignored that email. I'm reasonably sure they have better information but choose not to share it.

I'm reasonably sure they don't. I could never get an explanation for anything they did with regard to deer that was backed by actual research and data. It's all gut work. Wing it and see what happens then make corrections.
 

brock ratcliff

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
24,826
247
Tranquility was hit hard last year with EHD. I flew the area a time or two with a thermal drone this year. There was no over abundance of deer.
 
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I'm reasonably sure they don't. I could never get an explanation for anything they did with regard to deer that was backed by actual research and data. It's all gut work. Wing it and see what happens then make corrections.
Based on Ohio's own reporting, they collected ~$28 million in hunting licenses and deer tag fees in 2022. The vast majority of the hunting license revenue is deer related.

They can and should have some real data backing up their work., instead they just wing it, great! In their defense, total hunting license sales declined by 24 percent from 2013 - 2022, the budgets are likely stretched.
 

giles

Cull buck specialist
Supporting Member
The system is flawed. The last 10 years has been built on creating opportunities. People are hunting different and hunting harder to keep killing deer. Every property that allows hunting, is hunted. People manage the herd they hunt way more than the state does. The only group that doesn't kill less than what the states wants, is the damn Amish. They could drop the limit to 1 and them greedy bastards would still kill every one they can. Looking at any form of government for direction is a mistake. Looking to them for truthful answers and money flow is a joke.

Anyone else see that horse twitch? I gotta piss, gonna go face the wind.
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
38,785
260
Based on Ohio's own reporting, they collected ~$28 million in hunting licenses and deer tag fees in 2022. The vast majority of the hunting license revenue is deer related.

They can and should have some real data backing up their work., instead they just wing it, great! In their defense, total hunting license sales declined by 24 percent from 2013 - 2022, the budgets are likely stretched.

I grilled Tonkovich on this exact issue back in 09-11 after they started their big herd reduction push in 08.. At the time he kept publicly stating that Ohio had 750k deer. I asked him directly in front of a lot of people on this site how he got that number. He could not give a valid scientific answer. It was purely made up. I pulled quotes from his 750k statement going back years, then presented him with deer-vehicle accident data showing a huge reduction in DVAs since they started reducing the herd. So if DVAs are down 30% how is the population still at 750k? His answer. People aren't reporting deer-vehicle accidents. 🙄 I even showed him how the number of registered vehicles and licensed drivers had increased over that time. He couldn't give me one scientific method used to estimate the deer population.

His response was they base it on the harvest. If a county harvest goes up that means the population is up. If harvest goes down there are fewer deer. I told him that is an incredibly flawed way to estimate a live population. You can't estimate live deer by counting the dead ones without first having a solid grip on the number of live ones. ESPECIALLY when the DNR is actively passing rules to increase harvest through increased opportunity like a bonus gun season, an October muzzy season, and cheap 15-dollar tags. It doesn't matter if there are 20 deer or 5 deer in a Woodlot a hunter can still kill 3, he just had to hunt longer and harder, or a bonus weekend.

He eventually admitted that most hunters aren't smart enough to figure it out. Said it to my face in front of quite a few people here. He admitted that because of their reduction efforts lots of hunters were just going to quit hunting. Matter of fact he said he didn't believe they would accomplish their reduction goals because too many hunters would simply quit.

So as they pushed forward and that exact thing happened their revenue fell and they lost federal dollars to match. So what did they do, raised license and tag fees across the board to bump their coffers back up.

It's all a bunch of smoke and mirror BS. You as a hunter may pay the bill, but the only people that matter are large insurance companies and the Farm Bureau. Lower vehicle collisions and higher crop yields are what matters, you're just the stupid tool they use to accomplish it and pay the bills.