Use Trail Cameras For Predator Hunting

spartan coyote 2To shoot more coyotes use trail cameras to pattern the predators, just as you use them to track deer.

This field report from the BIG DEER HUNT TEAM’s predator expert Jack Hazel shows you how:

“Got two more coyotes last night! For several nights in a row, the Spartan Go Cam’s app gave me the exact time they showed up in the Dump Draw where we put dead cows. We set up 15 minutes ahead of time, and the coyotes came in right on cue. We hunted 30 minutes total.

The thermal image from my scope shows one of the dead dogs 100 yards away.

“The Spartan Go Cam is real deal, not just for deer but predators too.”

Note the time code on the Spartan images below for 2 of the nights, 3 minutes apart!

Smart and efficient and set up and hunting, and thspartan coyoteat is what it takes to fool coyotes.

 

 

 

 

 

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DNA Testing Confirms Montana Mystery Animal Was Gray Wolf

MT wolf mystery solved

In May a mystery creature was shot and killed on a ranch outside Denton. What the heck is it? Locals buzzed about the possibilities. Some said wolf with weird genetics…others grizzly cub…conspiracy theorists screamed Dire Wolf, an extinct prehistoric carnivore that some people swear still lives…or Dogman, a relative to Sasquatch, a large cryptozoological creature that looks and walks like an upright canid.

The DNA results are in and, ho-hum, it was a common old gray wolf. This press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks explains:

The canine creature shot in Montana a month ago that captured the curiosity of the nation is actually a gray wolf. DNA from the animal, which was shot legally by a rancher near Denton on May 16, was tested at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forensic laboratory in Ashland, Ore.

The lab compared the animal’s DNA with thousands of other DNA samples from wolves, coyotes and dogs. The conclusion was clear – this animal is a gray wolf from the northern Rocky Mountains.

Confusion about the animal might be due to the condition of the animal and the photos, which seemed to show short legs and big ears. Inspection of the animal at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife health lab in Bozeman revealed a relatively normal looking, dark brown wolf.

Physical variations aren’t unusual for animals, said Mary Curtis, geneticist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Within species there can be variability that’s not surprising at all,” Curtis said.

The wolf was a non-lactating female, which means she didn’t have a litter of pups. However, any unique physical features she has might also appear in her siblings or parents and may continue to be passed along by others in her family. The wolf measured 45 inches from the tip of the nose to the rump and weighed 84.5 pounds. It’s estimated that the wolf was between 2 and 3 years old.

According to the 2017 Montana Gray Wolf Program Annual Report, population estimates suggest there are approximately 900 wolves in Montana. This marks the 13th consecutive year that Montana has far exceeded wolf recovery goals.

Property owners in Montana have broad legal authority to shoot wolves they feel might be a threat to their livestock, as was the case with this wolf near Denton.

Mysterious Wolf-Life Creature Shot In Montana

MT wolflike creatureFrom the Great Falls Tribune: Was it a wolf, some type of hybrid, or a creature that hasn’t been seen in Montana since the Ice Age?

On May 16 a lone wolf-like animal was shot and killed on a ranch outside Denton. With long grayish fur, a large head and an extended snout, the animal shared many of the same characteristics as a wolf; but its ears were too large, its legs and body too short, its fur uncharacteristic of that common to a wolf.

So what was it? At this point, no one is 100 percent sure.

The locals are buzzing about the possibilities. Some think it’s a wolf with weird genetics…others say grizzly cub…or a Dire Wolf, an extinct prehistoric carnivore that some people swear still lives…or even a Dogman, a relative to Sasquatch, a large cryptozoological creature that looks and walks like an upright canid.

The strange creature’s carcass was sent to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services forensics lab in Oregon. “We have no idea what this was until we get a DNA report back,” said a spokesman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

It could take weeks or months to find out.

(Photo: KXLO Radio, Lewistown, Montana)

Deer Science: What Causes Most Fawn Deaths?

nj fawn

Our friend Jeff saw this newborn on his New Jersey farm last Saturday. If the little deer can make it until early August, its chances of survival soar. Scientists note that most fawn deaths occur in the first 12 weeks of life.

A grad student at Penn State’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Management examined the causes of fawn deaths listed in 29 different populations, and calculated the proportion of fawns that died from each of 3 categories: human, predation, and natural causes.

coyote wiht fawn

Not surprisingly predators, namely coyotes, bobcats, bears and dogs, killed the most fawns, about 25% of them in the populations studied.

About 8% of fawns died from natural causes like starvation, disease, hypothermia and drowning.

About 5% of fawns died from human causes (cars to combines to indirect causes, like getting tangled in a fence). The researchers noted that while we humans are the smallest source of mortality for whitetail fawns, it is worth noting as the human impact moves into more and more areas.

On the flip (and good) side 55% of fawns survive.

How Spring Floods Affect Deer

floods deerThis week a low-pressure system has brought steady rain and localized flooding to the Carolinas, and today it’s moving up the East Coast. Late April and especially May is also when floods are common along the Mississippi and other rivers and streams in the Midwest.

How does all this spring rain and flooding affect the whitetail deer?

The good news, biologists say that rising floodwaters of river and creeks won’t kill many if any adult deer, though it will displace the animals for days and perhaps weeks. But the deer will filter back into their habitats and core areas once the waters recede.

While pregnant does will move out of rising water now and for the next few weeks, the primary concern for deer herds in and around flood zones occurs later on in May and in early June, when the does start dropping fawns.

“But fawn survival in flood plains is typically very high, even during flood years,” says noted whitetail scientist Grant Woods.

“To cause any significant problems in a herd, the water levels would have to rise very rapidly and be timed when the peak of fawn births occur, and before the fawns are mobile. This is a narrow window of time. Rivers rarely rise that quickly on that timing, and does are excellent mothers!”

Another and perhaps more serious concern is where floodwaters might affect preferred fawning cover. “When does are forced to fawn in adjoining croplands or woods where there isn’t as much cover predation on the fawns can increase. But overall, I’m not worried about the fawns and the deer herds in a normal flood zone.”