The Antler Almanac

Written by Big Game Camera Man on Thursday, January 22, 2015


Over the last year and a half, I've heard rumors--some of them from PA big-game hunters--about why coyotes have appeared lately in the 5-county suburban area of southeastern PA around Philadelphia.

The background in the story is that, with the whitetail herd expanding unchallenged by enough hunters in the area, auto insurance companies are growing concerned about the number of car-deer crashes. One way and another, such crashes are costing them plenty of money in claims.

From what I've heard (no official confirmation, of course!), the insurance companies got permission from the PA Game Commission to release coyotes in the area in the hope that they would whittle down the deer herd in ways that human hunters can't.

Whether any of this is true, I can't say. One thing I'm sure about, though, is that an increasing coyote population is bad news for wild turkeys. At this point, coyotes don't have enough predators (trappers, or predator hunters) to keep their numbers in check.

While filming a whitetail hunt in Bucks County, PA last November, I had my first encounter with a breeding pair of adult coyotes. They scattered both deer and turkeys that cold morning, and came so close to our stand that my bowhunter (tollkeeper) came very close to slipping an arrow into the male--the larger of the two.

I don't want to spread rumors irresponsibly, but I'd sure like to hear what other members know or have heard about the southeastern Pennsylvania coyote issue.

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I’ve been in the business of filming hunts for 24 years now. I have hundreds of hours of...

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