Cumberland Times-News

October 26, 2013

Hunter blames predators

Cumberland Times-News

— Mike,

   It’s been a while that I have offered a letter to your Outdoors page because I don’t have  a lot of facts to support my opinions about deer populations.

Fawn mortality and recruitment into the herd is a guessing game based on trail cameras or some other high tech info that the DNR offers as a reason that the deer herd is stable.  

I don't know!  But I do know one simple fact. Deer in my area is low, fawns are not making it to adult age and most hunters are wanting to fill a tag to get meat in the freezer and are not willing to wait for a mature deer. I still maintain that the low deer herd numbers is a direct result of predators that kill the fawn population i.e., coyotes, bears and domestic dogs that run loose.  

These are the only possible factors that can affect the fawn mortality to any degree in regard to deer population, with the exception of disease. These same factors also affect the turkey population. My wife and I are totally into spring gobbler hunting but the many areas that we hunt, both private and public, have been lacking in gobbler and hen encounters.

All of this is from our experiences in the woods that we have hunted for many years. No data, no high tech DNR devices, which costs us all many thousands of dollars. This comes from a family that actually spends time in the woods. This letter is not to disrespect the officers that work for the DNR but to enlighten the folks in Annapolis that Region A needs better control on the critters that affect our game animals.

And for y’all in Annapolis that are reading this, if your income is our hunting, y’all best get your priorities in focus.

Mark Nicol