PA. Wildlife Educators: Don't kill coyotes thinking it will help deer
PENNSYLVANIA (WENY) -- A new warning has been issued from Pennsylvania Wildlife Educators to hunters: Do not kill coyotes thinking you are helping the deer population grow bigger and stronger.
"We don't have relatively many predators on the east coast. [People think:] 'I am directly competing with this animal for deer.' The problem is coyotes aren't," said Calvin Norman, an assistant teaching professor of Forestry at Penn State University.
Norman says coyotes are more apt to go for guaranteed food like rabbits and other small animals. Coyotes will even venture close to people's homes to nab food scraps. The animals hardly ever try to kill and eat adult deer.
"If you really wanna manage for big deer, which some people do. It's not go out there every night and shoot all the coyotes. It's go out there with a chainsaw and a fire torch and some herbicides that really clean the property up and get a place that can grow deer and where deer can get big," Norman said. "It's not shoot every coyote you see."
Killing coyotes will actually increase the coyote population.
"Coyote control is pretty counterproductive to just go out there and shoot a coyote. Because you just get more that come in from other areas or they'll just breed more. So, you're trying to bail out the ocean with a bucket," said Norman.
For Norman, the fight is personal.
"Personally, as a hunter, I find that it's very important to know what you're doing and understand what you're doing and why you're doing it, and the role that you play in the ecosystem," Norman said.
It is legal to hunt and kill coyotes in Pennsylvania with a general license. Norman argues that you should not kill coyotes thinking you are helping deer thrive and function when you aren't.