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Coyote and Bear Hunting in Minnesota

Other Culprits

More than just wolves pose a threat to the deer population. As a serious hunter, it's crucial to understand all the factors affecting deer numbers. While wolves may be the hot topic right now, let's not overlook other predators.

Coyotes, for example, are notorious fawn killers, and their numbers and territories are expanding rapidly. A recent study in Minnesota found that coyotes pose the biggest threat to fawn mortality. Out of 82 fawns tracked, a staggering 34 were killed solely by coyotes. This danger may be more recognized in southern Minnesota compared to the north, where the focus tends to be on WSI and wolves. It's time for everyone involved in deer hunting to pay attention to the coyote issue.

Bears are another predator to watch out for. In Minnesota, black bears emerge from hibernation with a strong appetite, making fawns an easy target. A study in Ely revealed that black bears claimed up to 10% of deer fawns during the spring and early summer inside the study area. Additionally, Camp Ripley Archery hunters often capture multiple black bears on their cell phone cameras during the annual hunt.  MPs have also confirmed that the largest threat to the deer population was the Bears in their observations. This firsthand evidence shows that bears pose a significant threat.

Bears In Minnesota
Photos are from the Unofficial Camp Ripley Hunt Facebook Page and are the property of users who posted them.

WSI (winter severity index) also deserves our attention. Minnesotans are well aware of the harsh winters and the toll they can take on wildlife. Severe cold and heavy snow can be deadly for deer and other creatures. It's a no-brainer that we need to consider the impact of WSI on the deer population.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) remains a concern in Minnesota, although the state has made efforts to address it. Just take a look at neighboring Wisconsin to see the potential consequences if this disease isn't controlled. The numbers from Wisconsin are alarming. Thankfully, Minnesota has taken measures to mitigate the threat, but it hasn't been without controversy.

As someone who is not an expert, I still believe it's crucial to raise awareness about the threats our deer face. We can make a difference by taking action to better manage these predators. While supporting the fight for a wolf hunt, do your part to protect our deer population from these other threats as well.

Stay informed and aware of these various factors impacting the deer population. By addressing all the predators and threats, we can work towards a healthier and more sustainable hunting environment in Minnesota.

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