Giving coyotes a free pass during deer season
We’re right smack in the middle of deer season now, and chances are pretty good that at some point I’ll encounter a coyote during a whitetail hunt.
I won’t shoot the pesky canine, though, for several reasons.
While some hunters will immediately turn their deer hunt into a coyote hunt if the opportunity presents itself, I can’t make that transition, primarily for fear of disrupting my deer hunt – and likely Paula’s since we’re sometimes in a two-person stand and, if not, she’s set up not far away, certainly within earshot of my .270.
I can understand the disdain hunters have for coyotes. They undoubtedly impact deer and likely turkey populations, worse in some areas than in others I’m sure. While they often get blamed for a lot, they’re certainly not blameless when it comes to fawn predation.
And I can also understand a hunter’s rationalization that removing even one coyote from their hunting landscape can only help things. But biologists say that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, given too much hunting pressure and harvest, coyotes are capable of thumbing their noses at us by producing more pups to offset our efforts. Coyotes, it seems, are known as a “compensating species,” which basically means they’re here to stay regardless of our efforts.
But the main reason I don’t pull the trigger on a coyote – although I did once in the Adirondacks, and regretted my clean miss as well as even my attempt – is that I don’t want to disrupt our deer hunt in any way. And while I might be able to get away with shooting a coyote without hindering our chances at a whitetail, I can’t be sure of that. So the coyote gets a free pass.
I’m probably in the minority on this one, given Facebook posts and the hunting fraternity’s general hatred of the canines. If you get the urge and it’s legal to do so, fire away. Me? I’ll let the ‘yote walk, figuring there might be a buck in the area, and removing one from the landscape isn’t going to make much of an impact.