Eddie Stevenson of the Big Deer Hunt Team texted from camp in Oklahoma last fall: Guy shot a nice buck, but coyotes found it before we did, meat half gone.
Another text from Eddie 2 days later: Coyotes got another buck, this one in less than an hour and during middle of day…just like on the blog.
A month earlier I had blogged about how coyotes were finding and devouring bowshot deer at an alarming rate. I asked people to share any such predator stories they had. Hunters from North Carolina to New York to Kansas wrote and confirmed that the new coyote problem is very real. Two more examples:
—a buddy of mine arrowed a 160 class buck one evening last year and went back the next morning…the coyotes had eaten it all…
–shot a doe one morning and watched it die in the field…30 minutes later two coyotes circled downwind and walked right up to my deer…had to yell and scream to get them away…wild to see how quickly they can get on that smell and sense a free meal…
Coyotes are thick in many areas, and they seem to be getting more aggressive. Back to that text from Oklahoma: Coyotes found and ate that buck in the middle of the day and in less than an hour.
So what to do?
John Jeanneney, a New York breeder of top blood-trailing dachshunds, tracks more bowshot whitetails in a season than most of us will in a lifetime. In his book, Dead On!, John says it’s time to re-think our deer-tracking strategies. With most arrow hits, even marginal ones in and around a buck’s vitals, John says to get on the blood trail and go. No more waiting 30 minutes to several hours. And no leaving your buck until the next morning. John and his dog-tracking colleagues from across America have compared notes, and they report that 35 to more than 50 percent of deer left overnight may be lost to coyotes.
Tell us if you’re having trouble w/coyotes in your hunt area.