bobcat trapping, coyote trapping, Land trapping — November 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Coyotes and bobcats will cause a loss in deer antler size from predator stress

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Predators can cause LOSS IN ANTLER SIZE

coyotes bopbcats eating deerAn interesting thing happened when wolves were released into Yellow Stone National Park. The whole elk herd lost body weight and LOST ANTLER SIZE! That same year the elk actually had more food and nutrition available to them due to the new green growth from major fires in the previous year. The reason for the reduced size in their antlers is simple – predator stress. The elk had to stay on guard at all times. If they didn’t, they could have been attacked or eaten. Even though the elk had more food, they had to keep their heads up and on guard. Due to the stress of the predators, they could not reach their genetic potential. Stress in deer is not much different than in us. If we are under high amounts of stress, we lose weight and are more susceptible to disease. Our immune system becomes week.

Even though you have ample food sources with food plots and or feeders, your animals may not eat as much as they should. The result of maximum growth is a direct response to the amount of nutrition they take in. Most properties perform a deer census. Within a few days, coyotes and bobcats start showing up on trail cameras at the corn piles. The predators are not eating, but hunting. They learn where the wildlife will be from sight and smell. Keep in mind that the predators find this concentration of wildlife in just a few days. What kind of pressure and presence do you think predators have at your permanent food plots and feeders? You give your wildlife the groceries they need to become trophies – this is good. Keep in mind; you also make dedicated hunting grounds for predators by concentrating the wildlife for the coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions.

Just look at the size of the antlers that deer get in stress free controlled pens. Sure they may have a genetic edge and breeding, but turn that same deer out into the stress of the wild. He will still be impressive, but he will lose antler size. The answer is simple and clear. If you want maximum antler or horn size, reduce the stress on the deer or exotic animals in your herd.

Do you think the stress that coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions have on your whitetail deer will result in a different outcome than the wolves have on the elk? Stress caused by predators is a documented fact.

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