To those of you who believe that the "Wiley Coyote" is solely responsible for the condition of your Mule Deer Herds, I recommend that you take a 50 mile trip up Nine Mile Canyon any evening between 6 and 8 p.m.. I believe you will count anywhere between 400 and 600 deer in the irrigated fields.
More important than the number of deer, you should attempt to classify the fawn/doe ratio. Anything over 70 fawns per hundred does would be considered a good year. This kind of annual increase is something the professional wildlife folks in the Utah Fish and Game Division have been working for ever since the herds crashed.
The animals all seem to be in excellent condition for this time of year. Of course the easy winter had something to do with this phenomenon, but so has the law enforcement effort, and the habitat improvement projects carried out as mitigation for the gas and oil development.
One other thing you might see on this trip is a lonesome coyote standing in the midst of the deer you are counting. If it is the $50.00 you need, go ahead and pull the trigger, but the deer counts I am referring to were made before the first bounty was paid, so if coyote depredation played a role, it was sure a minor one.
Dale A. Jones