Coyotes continue to plague the Carolinas, eating small game and small fawns during late spring. Every month is a good time to move toward their elimination; however, winter is a critical time to plan an offensive against coyotes because the fawning season will arrive soon.

T.J. Hallman, plantation manager at the Territories Saluda River Preserve in Chappells, S.C., believes coyote predation on fawns is a major contributor to the recent deer population decrease. 

“It has been proven that extensive trapping before and just after fawning season will greatly decrease fawn mortality from coyote predation,” he said.  

Newly-dropped fawns are a dream-come-true for a pack of coyotes. Hunters with any interest in the deer population need to start trapping this winter before the fawning season begins. 

During January and February, trappers are in luck because it’s mating season for coyotes. Females come into estrus in January, laying down scents that attract males. While most coyotes are considered monogamous, the pups from the previous year will be reproductively active, making them very receptive to scents. 

Coyote litters range from one to 15 pups. Even though the mortality rate is high for pups during their first year of life, pup recruitment across the landscape is still high. 

 It is an ideal time to use coyote scents in traps or around trap sites to keep the coyote epidemic at bay.