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#53821 - 03/09/01 07:33 AM Re: Re: How many pups
Nebraska Coyote Hunter Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 187
Loc: Elkhorn, NE USA
Wiley,

Is there an online version of the Wild Furbearer Management and Conservation in North America? If not, where can we get our hands on it?

Thanks.

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#53822 - 03/09/01 06:52 PM Re: Re: How many pups
steve allen Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 88
Loc: Bismarck,ND
Wiley--This is a really good series of questions you ask, unfortunately the answers are very long so I will break them up in several segments to allow everyone to get a breath of air, some more popcorn, and another Bud Light or whatever.

Let me address the link first, because that is easiest. This paper appears to be from a symposium or something like that. It cites numerous other publications, but presents no data in graphs, tables or figures so we can verify what the original authors said as compared to what these authors are saying. Unfortunately, most members of this forum have no easy access to the original data to study for themselves, thus most readers will likely take everything as it is said.

For example, let's take the first sentence in the abstract on P.l. It says that coyote abundance is determined by food availability. What is food availability (I'll get into this in the phase 2 answer)? But we already know from the Posse Country posts that food is always available; the thing that regulates coyote abundance is whether members of Predatormasters, other hunters and trappers, farmers/ranchers and whomever are killing a bunch of coyotes, quite a few coyotes, or not very many coyotes. Food doesn't have much to do with that. Thus, if the first sentence is in error, how much faith are the readers willing to put in the rest of the paper? On the other hand they may be right, but how does any of us know that?

Quite often similar publications are given at symposiums to lay the groundwork for data sets the authors have and will publish later, and cite this paper in their later works. Call it politics in wildlife research and you won't be too far wrong.

In summary, I wouldn't put a great deal of stock in this publication. Stick with your common sense, and the things the coyote himself has taught you. They are the best instructors on coyote behavior; after all they are full-time professionals. The animal will always answer every question you ask, but you have to ask in a manner that when they answer you understand what they are telling you!

Time out for more popcorn!

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#53823 - 03/09/01 07:21 PM Re: Re: How many pups
steve allen Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 88
Loc: Bismarck,ND
Wiley--OK now for phase 2. I can tell you are still wondering about food availability and the effect on reproductive performance, and I don't criticize that thinking.

Food availability may very well impact coyotes or other species in some manner; however, how do we measure food availability? Most research people measure availability by measuring densities of prey species, but is that availability? Can we be sure that densities and availability are directly related? For instance, if deer numbers double in a certain area are the deer twice as available as before? We don't really know; the only thing we know is that deer numbers doubled. Same for cottontails or whatever. But if we take the number of deer we had before they doubled, and put them into a really tough winter (e.g. winter of '96) or a really tough summer in the southwest, are they more or less available to predation from coyotes now as compared to before these adverse conditions arrive? Unfortunately, we still don't know for sure, but at least now we can compare deer mortality from coyotes in "good" conditions compared to "bad" conditions.

But the real question is how do we compare this "availability" to changes in the prey to changes in reproductive performance in coyotes? I don't know how to do that, because there are so many unanswered questions like these that we can hardly get to first base in answering the real questions.

I don't say all this to embarras you, but rather to cause all of us to think seriously about what we are really asking and how we will comprehend the answer given the technology at hand.

In our data analysis of coyote reproductive performance in North Dakota then we didn't address food availability as an independent variable affecting reproductive performance because we didn't know how to do it either for these very reasons. The affect of food availability would be wonderful to know, but the technology is simply not available to use.

How am I doing so far? You asked for the time and I tell you how to build the watch, right?

Time out for more popcorn!

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#53824 - 03/09/01 07:51 PM Re: Re: How many pups
steve allen Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 88
Loc: Bismarck,ND
Wiley--We're coming down the home stretch now; time for phase 3--the quotes from the Wild Furbearers book.

Gier (1968) and Todd and Keith (1976) discuss litter size and ovulation rate compared to rodent numbers and snowshoe hare numbers, respectively. But, recalling our phase 2 discussion, how do we know that changes in rodent/hare populations universally impact coyote reproduction? Can we be sure that if rodents double in numbers that litter size changes will automatically follow? What happens if the rodents that double are not the species the coyotes like to eat? Does everyone understand the depth of some of these questions and the complexity of the answers?

Moving on, Knowlton (1972) shows that litter size is inversely proportional to density and Gier (1968) indicates that placental scars are directly related to the intensity of coyote control. But, the post I submitted to Howler on 3 Mar 01 describes the potential bias in looking at litter size changes without segregating the samples by age class. To my knowledge neither of these authors examined female age class as a variable with potential to affect reproductive performance. This bias was also discussed in detail on Posse Country.

N&K (1976) and Gipson (1975) indicate 9% and 27% prenatal mortality in their respective areas. Our data from North Dakota indicated that prenatal mortality declined by female age class every year from 1 to 5 years old. At least to my knowledge these authors did not examine female age class as a variable affecting reproductive performance in coyotes. Different proportions of age classes in those 2 studies could account for the differences in prenatal mortality they present.

In summary, most of these authors likely presented and discussed their data in good faith based on the current technology available at the time. However, times change and technology advances, and early data sets sometimes become inappropriate given the new technology. Along this same line I fully expect that some of the things I found will in the future be shown to obsolete, incorrect or whatever given the technology advances at that time.

But the times are now! So we do our best with what we know now, and plan for the future but leave the future to the next generation of scientists.

End of phase 3. No more phases to follow. Time for more popcorn! And I thought I was retired!

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#53825 - 03/09/01 10:09 PM Re: Re: How many pups
Anonymous
Unregistered


Gentlemen- I'm impressed! I haven't had the chance to hear such well thought out studies. The Basco's I used to work with had many interesting things to say about the communal aspect of Coyotes and their pups. They also said most Coyotes don't eat Sheep;just a few bad apples.

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#53826 - 03/10/01 11:24 AM Re: Re: How many pups
Wiley E Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 410
Loc: Kadoka, S.D.
Steve, thanks! There is certainly questions that need to be answered. You should copy some of the Posse Country discussions and post them here.

NCH, are you in luck! Dave Hamilton, a furbearer biologist from Missouri, sent me an email yesterday about "Wild Furbearere Management and Conservation in North America" may be available on CD ROM. I had him post it here and it can be found in the Clubhouse Forum. Wiley E

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#53827 - 03/10/01 01:15 PM Re: Re: How many pups
steve allen Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 88
Loc: Bismarck,ND
Wiley--A couple of reasons I haven't brought the PC discussions over here. First, a lot of the guys that were over there are now over here, and I don't think everyone is automatically interested in re-reading the same stuff again. Kind of like re-inventing the wheel. If questions start to show up especially re: territorial behavior/spacing/activity, etc., I would say those discussions should be brought over. You are right--I see no reason to re-type all that stuff. I could be squeezing the trigger or drilling holes in the ice rather than typing.

What do you think?

The second reason is that I don't know how to bring that stuff over here. That, of course, is not an insurmountable problem. Do you know how to do it?

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#53828 - 03/11/01 07:53 AM Re: Re: How many pups
Wiley E Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 410
Loc: Kadoka, S.D.
Sounds good! If there is something that I could copy from PC, let me know. I was just trying to keep you drilling holes and pulling triggers. LOL! Don't want to burn you out! Take Care Pal! Wiley E

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#53829 - 03/11/01 02:41 PM Re: Re: How many pups
steve allen Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 88
Loc: Bismarck,ND
Wiley--I re-read the paper you brought forward on the link just to make sure my opinion of it was the same as the other day. It is. It is really nothing more that a review of literature with a few ideas occasionally interjected.

There are, however, many excellent publications on coyotes and other predators that have very clear objectives, good methods that resulted in the collection of excellent data, and good conclusions based on those data. One that comes immediately to mind that would be of interest to you comes from a lady biologist in Utah. She investigated the effect of late winter coyote maintainence removal work on damage mechanics the following spring. She had excellent data, very good experimental design and the data was very appropriate for your work and long overdue. In a nutshell she found that maintainence removal of coyotes was both cost effective and damage reduction effective. I can get you a reprint of that paper, if you don't have one.
When one reads that paper, it is easy to see what good science really is all about.

In addition, there is 1 author mentioned in the paper on the link that has conducted some of the worst science I have ever seen in over 30 years in the field! Just because this author is even cited anywhere raises a red flag for me. If you want to e-mail me, we can discuss this individual and the work in a private format.

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#53830 - 03/11/01 09:49 PM Re: Re: How many pups
Cal Taylor Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 545
Loc: Gillette Wy.
Hey Steve,
Thats not fair. I don't think this needs to go private, we're all here to learn.

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#53831 - 03/12/01 06:03 PM Re: Re: How many pups
steve allen Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 88
Loc: Bismarck,ND
Cal--I will share this information with you privately, also. However, I will not discuss ethics and professionalism on an open forum. E-mail me and we'll talk.

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#53832 - 03/21/01 07:47 PM Re: Re: How many pups
tornado Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 24
Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
Steve your posts are a pleasure to read.
They are vary well written and informative.
the menders of this forum owe you greatly
for your time and effort.

The way to copy something from another
post or forum.
open the thread that you wish to copy.
start with the first letter of the part you
wish to copy. Depress the left mouse button
and hold it down. Scroll down to highlight
everything that you wish to copy, releasing
the mouse button when everything is
highlighted. Move the cursor to a point on
the heightlighted area and right click, Chose
copy. Then go to the form of your choice.
Choose post-new topic or post reply,
which ever is appropriate. In the message
window right click and choose paste.
This will paste everything that you had
highlighted.


[This message has been edited by Tornado (edited 03-21-2001).]

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#53833 - 03/22/01 05:24 AM Re: Re: How many pups
steve allen Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 88
Loc: Bismarck,ND
Tornado--Thank you for the generous comment re: posts. Also thanks for the instructions re: moving posts from 1 forum to another. That could be very useful.

Re: hunting predators in Alaska; do you ever call in any silver or cross fox? How common are they in your area? Myself and my hunting partner called and killed a cross fox several years ago just east of Bismarck, but that is the only one I have ever seen. Also what about calling other species in Alaska? What comes to your calling efforts? What types of calls do you use? Any bear problems? Thanks.

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#53834 - 03/22/01 07:17 AM Re: Re: How many pups
tornado Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 24
Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
Yes in 20 years of calling in Alaska I have called in several cross fox. Starting about 100 miles north the fox population really starts to thicken up. Also on Kodak and some of the neighboring Islands the fox are very thick. Coyote populations are low in Alaska. And their territories are large. On the Kenai Peninsula is where I have found the largest population. One of the biggest problems is accessibility. There is a lack of a road system up here. Without a snow machine you are pretty limited. As of yet I have not really targeted the wolves. I hope to change that next year though. I have never shot a bear that I called in but have had several opportunities.
As for calls, my favorite hand call is the Tally Ho next is the AP6.
This year I cheated and got a WT call and my success has increased dramatically.

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