Deer hunters concerned about coyotes killing deer [UPDATED]Published 11:22am Wednesday, January 18, 2012 Updated 11:30am Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Deer hunting was not good this year in many parts of Otter Tail County, and west central Minnesota in general.
Many hunters blame the coyote population as a major reason for a drop in the deer population.
“That’s one factor, but not the only factor,” said Don Schultz, wildlife manager at the Fergus Falls Department of Natural Resources (DNR) office. “It’s true that coyotes kill deer, particularly fawns.
“But overall, we also take into consideration road kills, the bow hunting and gun season harvests and other factors.”
Many deer hunting experts also point out the severe winter of 2010-11 that may have also adversely affected the deer population.
Coyotes are unprotected, so people don’t need licenses to shoot coyotes, said Schultz.
Further north, the problem is wolves that are depleting deer populations.
“Shoot ‘em (wolves) up or not, the number of these animals roaming the state today likely won’t change in 10 years or even 20 years,” said Dennis Anderson, an avid deer hunter and outdoors columnist with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“This will come as bad news to hunters who think the wolf can somehow be beaten back in favor of boosting whitetail populations. “It ain’t going to happen, at least not in the entirety of the northern forested region.”
Anderson said that more often than not, one dead wolf will be replaced by a live one. “And another and another still,” he said.
He said that significant questions remain in Minnesota about wolf management as it relates to deer and deer management.