Coyote Management Equals Fun & Fawns

Coyote Management Equals Fun & Fawns

Think that popping pelts is a hunting pursuit reserved for fall and winter? Think again! Summer, especially June, is a fantastic time to call coyotes. Every coyote you harvest during the summer saves a fawn, boosts shooting confidence, and provides some absolute summertime fun.

by Mark Kayser

Hold up! Did your retired turkey hunting gear push your coyote hunting equipment farther back on your hunting shelf? Do a gear switcheroo now and keep your predator hunting gear ready. The start of summer signals an exciting time to call in coyotes for two very different reasons. Your coyote hunting goals in the sunscreen months include management and fun. Forget fur.

Without question, coyote pelts do not have prime value this time of year. Set aside your fur-gathering ambitions. If you have not been following the fur market, unlike ribeye steaks that have soared in price, furs have crashed in recent years. Yes, at various periods in my coyote hunting career, coyote pelts did fetch a significant price. Those beefy Western coyotes in my backyard could even land a value of $300. Fast forward to the present, and even with pelt preparation, you rarely can exceed $50 for a pelt. Do the math on your hourly wage worth to see if that puts you in a higher tax bracket. It’s doubtful. Coyotes below the Mason-Dixon line have difficulty securing a value of $15 bucks when prime.

Instead of wringing your hands over fur, prioritize coyote management when hunting coyotes in the summer. The collapse of fur prices has led to fewer trappers; without question, these professionals had the means and tools to manage coyotes. Without the trapping army operating at total capacity, any coyote you can kill, especially now, could save a fawn.

Coyote Management Equals Fun & Fawns

Why worry about fawns? Are you dreaming of more grilled foods now that the days are warmer and longer? Coyotes also have food dreams, and the start of summer signals a change in the regular menu.

In June, many deer fawns start hitting the ground. The overwhelming number of new babies hitting the earth overwhelms predators enough that many fawns survive, thankfully. However, coyotes are doing damage. Pronghorn also drop their fawns, and like deer, it’s a synchronized event that ensures most fawns are born within a few days of each other.

Coyote Management Equals Fun & Fawns

Once coyotes realize that someone is stocking the buffet (think Pizza Ranch fresh pizzas), coyotes forget about bunnies and voles in haste for super-sized fawn meals. Studies suggest that a coyote’s diet has a fawn foundation of at least 50 to 70 percent when fawns abound in an area. In one research study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, it was noted that wildlife managers in the Southeast discovered coyote predation on fawns so incredible that, on average, only one in four fawns could stay alive to three months old. Data from recent Minnesota studies show a similar pattern, with coyotes being the primary cause of death for GPS-collared fawns. In 2022, research saw an increase of more than 80 percent in fawn deaths from the previous year.

Coyote Management Equals Fun & Fawns

During the spring and early summer, young coyotes require lots of calories and protection. You can use these elements to lure adult coyotes into your rifle sight that may be preying on fawns.

You may question whether you could make a difference in fawn survival. Over a year, probably not. Coyotes have incredible dispersion and territory takeover tendencies. Nevertheless, removing a coyote from a property could help during May, especially June and July.

Why?

Most coyotes have paired up, possibly teamed up with others, and now are fully committed to the survival of pups in their den. With a targeted approach, removing one or more coyotes from your property reduces the hunting ability of that team to kill a fawn. It is not uncommon to lure in a pair of coyotes if you set up close enough to a den, thus leaving the fate of those pups in question.

Coyote Management Equals Fun & Fawns

By the end of summer, especially as adolescent pups disperse, territories lacking coyotes receive new lessees. Once again, this movement gives you concern over other wildlife residents on your property. The circle of life starts all over again. Nevertheless, fawns were allowed a few months of growth and time to learn survival education. As a side note to eradicating a few coyotes on your property, review all your wildland projects carefully. Adding more habitat, particularly vegetation and forestry management, will help conceal fawns and positively impact fawn survival.

With a management justification leading your outing validation, remember to consider the fun. Summer coyotes play in a more gratifying manner. By the time you wrap your winter coyote hunting, the point of hunting may seem moot. Spooky and paranoid coyotes ignore your calls, or at best, peek 1,000 yards away before slinking away to avoid a V-Max branding iron. Not to mention, months of intense fall and winter hunting resulted in many coyotes already taking a bloody, bouncing ride in the truck bed of a pickup truck.

Coyote Management Equals Fun & Fawns

You will not be hunting different coyotes, but you will be hunting coyotes with a different attitude. Replacing the nervous apprehensions of coyotes in the snow months is a bold, protective character to proliferate the landscape with coyotes. Male and female coyotes alike investigate any possible danger close to den sites. They understand that coyotes and other predators pose a danger to their young families.

Summer coyotes also have less aversion to checking out the sounds of prey in distress. When you must feed a minimum of four extra mouths and possibly seven or more, plus mama, easy prey catches your attention like a family meal deal at your favorite drive-through. Late in the summer, young coyotes hunt and travel more independently, but until then, parents and the pack provide much of the youngsters’ diet. Of course, late summer and early fall again represent an opportunity to call in and hunt adolescent coyotes uneducated on the ruse of predator hunters.

Does an early summer coyote hunt sound like something you might try this summer? Bump that day at the beach and look for another article soon on tactics to save a fawn.

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