Predators are impacting our whitetail herd, and there are several ways you can help.
By Nathan Unger
This is the time of year when you can begin helping whitetail fawns and turkey polts survive. Yes, even now before they begin hitting the ground.
As temperatures drop, coyotes, bobcats, bears and foxes are only a few of the predators that place our game species in danger. Other species include raccoons, skunks, possums, hawks and cougars. Not all of these species are legal to hunt, but those that are, it is our responsibility to maintain predator populations just like other wild game.
Foothold traps such as the one above, trappers frequently use for coyotes and other small game animals such as fox and bobcat.
Not only are fawns’ lives at stake, but turkeys as well. Not only are live young and adult turkeys at risk, but also turkey nests that typically contain several eggs.
According to 2016 National Deer Report and 15 Takeaways from QDMA’s 2016 Deer Report most predator populations are stable, however, bear populations have increased in every southeastern state.
Not only is this problematic for our deer herds and turkey flocks, but as cougars migrate east this will add an entire new dimension to the phrase ‘top of the food chain.’
Foxes play a damaging role to turkeys as well. They can also be damaging to game birds like quail and pheasants and small game like rabbits.
Foothold traps work well like this one in the picture above. Baits for predators depends on the preference of the trapper. They range from different kinds of fish to fox urine typically used for trapping coyotes.
This doesn’t encompass the entire amount of information on trapping, but it’s a start and what’s important is to start somewhere. Begin taking one predator at a time. You might also start out with cage traps are user friendly and reliable.
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