Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Coyotes, birds and deer

Posted on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 2:22 PM

There's not much good to be said about getting old, except that you have a longer memory than most people. As an old trapper, the short answer to Alex Sakariassen's recent question (see "Where are the white-tails?" Dec. 3, 2009) is in the bellies of coyotes!

The correlation between the price of a coyote fur and the impact on all game animals and birds is a proven fact. In the late '70s I averaged $125 for my coyotes and in the '80s we had more deer than we knew what to do with. As long as the price of coyotes stayed above $50, they were worth trapping.

Now that you can't give a coyote away, the deer population has nosedived. How does the price of coyotes impact the game birds? Very simple: When you trap coyotes, you also catch skunks, coon and fox. Those three were the main predators of game birds.

Now here is a plan: Go green and wear coyote fur and help increase the deer population. It's the ultimate renewable resource.

Mike Dey

Missoula

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