WHEN IT COMES to the whitetail fawns on our property, I want to make certain all the fawns born have a chance to survive. I do not want coyotes or bobcats making the decision as to what stays and what gets eaten,” said my old rancher friend. “I rather consider myself a ‘fawn rancher’.
“Years ago, we only had a few hunters on our property to help us take the number of deer that needed to be removed each year. Back then, coyotes and bobcats helped us keep the whitetail deer within the numbers our range could support in the worst of times.
“However, with more and more urbanites wanting to harvest their own wild meat, we don’t need nearly as many predators as we once did. Don’t forget humans are part of the wild system and need to eat as much as four-legged predators.”
He continued, “There seems to be a misconception that predators take only the sick, weak and infirm. In fact, they are opportunists and prey heavily on fawns, particularly in a year such as we are having, where, because of a lack of rainfall there is little ground vegetation, which hides young fawns.”
Before I could respond, my old rancher friend continued, “It’s almost time for whitetail does in our area to start dropping fawns, some may already have. Coyotes and bobcats know this and seem to be congregating on our property.”
“I do not want to totally remove predators from our area, just want to minimize the effect they have on the fawns. If we have poor survival this year, that means five-years from now we will have an unhealthy herd with very few mature bucks. I don’t want that to be the case, nor have fewer does for us to harvest strictly for meat.”
That is how Gary Roberson of Burnham Brothers Game Calls (burnhambrothers.com), his son Steve, who is cameraman/producer for their Carnivore television show, as well as Trijicon’s Eddie Stevenson and I happened to be on the Hargrove Ranches with wildlife manager Craig Archer (www.hargroveranches.com). Eddie and I hunt on the ranches for deer.
Our purpose was to try to remove as many coyotes and bobcats as possible in a relatively short time before both whitetail and mule deer fawns are born. Too, we planned on putting Burnham Brothers’ newest electronic game call, the UltraCaller, which produces ultrasonic sounds, to the test.
Gary has long worked with researchers to determine what frequencies predators could hear. One of the things they immediately learned is that coyotes and bobcats hear frequencies far beyond what existing electronic game calls can attain.
Through various processes Gary and audio specialists have come up with a patented speaker that reaches new heights unattainable by any other electronic game calls. Frankly it will take many years for other game call companies to catch up, because of the patented process owned by Burnham Brothers.
During two days of calling only in daytime, using Ruger American rifles in .223 topped with Trijicon scopes and shooting Hornady ammo, we took several coyotes including in areas where they had become “call shy,” proving the worth of the new UltraCaller and saving a considerable number of both whitetail and mule deer fawns.
May and June are great times to reduce predator numbers to ensure fawn survival. Are you doing your part?
Email Larry Weishuhn at [email protected]