Mark – No treatments were used, and no exclosure is completely deer-proof. Thanks for commenting, though.
John J. – The truth hurts, doesn’t it? The Unfried Sportsmen pander to people’s most selfish instincts, and peddle bad science besides. I am intimately familiar with its political machinations and deceptions. By contrast, I have enormous respect for the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportmen’s Clubs: there’s a REAL grassroots conservation organization for you. And of course there are many, many local, unaffiliated groups who do their part for conservation, too.
Rebecca – I’ve noticed the healthier understoreys in parts of WV, and I’m not sure the reason. Possibly more poaching? As for coyotes, we have them out the wazoo, and in time it’s possible that they will adopt more wolf-like behaviors and begin preying on adult deer. But for now, coyotes are about equal with black bears as opportunistic predators on fawns and injured deer. I see their impact on mesopredators as a good thing — it’s widely acknowledged that medopredator release is a serious consequence of the elimination of top predaors from a system. You know, I guess, about the ecological theory of top-down trophic interactions. But again, whether the eastern coyote can truly assure some of the functions of a top predator remains an open question at this point. I’ve heard arguments similar to what you’re saying, too, that it constitutes just another nuisance mesopredator with a negative impact on nesting neotrops, e.g.
Hi Gina – I’m glad you liked. I hope to shoot more videos, though I guess it would help if I had an actual video camera and some good editing software!
I think that hiding behavior can only be innate.