No. 1 Deer Predator in Michigan is a Surprise

If you had to guess which predator would be the top whitetail consumer in Michigan, you'd probably guess wolves -- and to be fair, that's not a bad guess. However, biologists say that's not the case.

A study by Wildlife Ecology and Management at Mississippi State University, in association with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, found that coyotes are the top whitetail fawn predators in the western Upper Peninsula, followed by bobcats in second. Wolves came in fourth behind a three-way tie of hunters, unknown predators and undetermined causes.

Student researchers fitted 142 whitetail fawns with GPS collars, which transmitted their locations every 15 minutes. According to the study, 80 of the fawns died during the three-year first phase of the study, with 73 percent of the deaths being attributed to predators.


While researchers discovered two wolf packs in the area, they also discovered a pit where farmers had been dumping dead cattle -- a free, easy meal for the wolves.




RELATED: Protect Your Deer Herd From Predators



The Department of Natural Resources claims the wolf population, which it estimates is around 687 in the Upper Peninsula, takes just 6 percent of the deer population, estimated about 270,000. While only 17,000 deer are claimed by wolves, hunters and car accidents combine for 64,000 deer.

Recommended for You

Good location is just part of the equation. Scouting

The Best Summer Trail Camera Strategy

Tony J. Peterson

Good location is just part of the equation.

Check out some of the most innovative products hitting shelves this summer! Bowhunting

Best New 2019 Crossbow Accessories

Laden Force - July 02, 2019

Check out some of the most innovative products hitting shelves this summer!

Restore the predator balance on your land. Land Management

Managing Hog & Coyote Populations for Whitetail Properties

Mark Wooley

Restore the predator balance on your land.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Deer Dog: Shed Conditioning

Deer Dog: Shed Conditioning

Jeremy Moore talks about the importance of your deer dog's physical conditioning.

On Target: Tips for Handgun Hunting Accuracy

On Target: Tips for Handgun Hunting Accuracy

Dr. James Kroll provides tips for hunting whitetails with a handgun.

North American Whitetail - South of the Border

North American Whitetail - South of the Border

Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan head south of the border in pursuit of whitetails in old Mexico.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional requirements will not only increase your chances of harvesting a good buck, but also your enjoyment of whitetail hunting. Land Management

What Do Deer Eat?

Dr. James C. Kroll

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional...

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's fertile United States

Best Spots for Bowhunting Kentucky Trophy Bucks

Gordon Whittington - July 21, 2016

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's...

Good location is just part of the equation. Scouting

The Best Summer Trail Camera Strategy

Tony J. Peterson

Good location is just part of the equation.

See More Stories

More Conservation

With 'zombie deer' headlines going viral and Chronic Wasting Disease suddenly making front-page news, Dr. Deer sounded off on the topic. Conservation

The Truth About Zombie Deer & A CWD Cure

Lynn Burkhead - February 22, 2019

With 'zombie deer' headlines going viral and Chronic Wasting Disease suddenly making...

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and its relative, bluetongue, are transmitted to whitetails by Conservation

Why Drought Isn't the Only Factor in Deer EHD

Gordon Whittington - February 14, 2018

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and its relative, bluetongue, are transmitted to...

The whitetail has a dramatic effect on its habitat and on many other species sharing it. But in the Conservation

Whitetails Are Impacting Caribou Population

Spencer Neuharth - November 09, 2017

The whitetail has a dramatic effect on its habitat and on many other species sharing it. But...

See More Conservation

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.