Fawn Mortality Study
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default Fawn Mortality Study

I went out with a few grad students from NC State today and they're running a study on fawn mortality. The study is being held on Fort Bragg property. These guys are patrolling the roads and woods right from the end of hunting season with an 8psi CO2 dart gun ($80 a dart) and sedating does and implanting a Vaginal Implant Transmitter (VIT, $300 a pop). They also collar the doe with a $4500 tracking collar. The collar is equipped with GPS, cellular capability and also has a VHF transmitter.

When the fawn drops, so does the VIT transmitter. The transmitter detects the temperature difference and starts emitting its signal at a faster rate. When this happens they can use a yagi antenna to locate the drop site. Often though, they will zero in on the does collar first, as the doe will try to move the fawn as soon as possible. But they're capable of getting to the fawn within 2.5-3 hours and getting a collar on them. The fawn collars are VHF only and are about $500 each. They are designed to fall off after about 16 weeks and have corrugations to accommodate the growing fawn.

We got one today just by luck. We weren't running the antenna and we stumbled across this female fawn. About 10 days old.

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:30 PM   #2
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Pretty darn cool.

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Old 06-10-2012, 06:54 AM   #3
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Is NC state funding this, if not who is? Sounds like fun (expensive) research.

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Old 06-10-2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Department of Defense.

There are a lot of wildlife and habitat management considerations for this study. I think it's well worth the money.

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Old 06-10-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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The state of Utah has a simple answer to the declineing Mule deer population. They have established a $50 dollar bounty on coyotes. I bet their deer herds come back faster than many other states. Look the real problems in the eye.

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Old 06-10-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durangokid View Post
The state of Utah has a simple answer to the declineing Mule deer population. They have established a $50 dollar bounty on coyotes. I bet their deer herds come back faster than many other states. Look the real problems in the eye.
Precisely. The study includes nutrition. These guys have determined that there is only enough quality vegetation in the area to support the current population density. Predation seems to play only a small role. Most of their fawns are dying because of starvation. Even when they do encounter a predation event, it cannot be concluded that the fawn would have otherwise survived. It is entirely possible that it was already starving.

The jury isnt in yet, but it doesn't seem that reducing the coyote population would have much effect on the Fort Bragg base (and surrounding region).
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:00 AM   #7
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tCan, thanks for an interesting post.

Last summer in SW OK was very dry and hot; well over one-half of does lost their fawns. Here about one-third of fawns are killed every year by coyotes. Bobcats get a few fawns too. i've caught two wild boar hogs in the act of eating fawns-both died.

Most hunters here are reluctant to shoot coyotes during deer season: Not me. i go to great lengths to kill coyotes. If theres a 150 class buck and a coyote within range the coyote is going to die. In OK we cannot legally shoot coyotes at night.

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