UTAH COYOTE BOUNTY PROGRAM
The Predator Incentive Program was efficiently and effectively implemented at a statewide scale during fiscal year 2018. The program demonstrated a slightly decreased number of coyotes harvested in Utah compared to the previous year. Based on six years of data collected, we estimate that 91,281 coyotes have been harvested. This is an average of 15,214 coyotes per year. Currently, we know that roughly 20% of coyote removals occur on summer range of mule deer. Fawn:doe ratios have decreased slightly throughout the entirety of the program from 65 in FY2013 to 58 in FY2018. Mule deer population estimates increased between 2012-2015 and took a slight decrease in 2016, and another slight decrease in 2017. However, further assessment of removals and fawn recruitment will be necessary to understand whether the program is benefitting mule deer at a statewide scale. There are many factors that influence deer populations, such as weather, habitat conditions and alternative prey availability, all of which will need to be accounted for when assessing the impacts of the program. It is also unknown how much overlap between removals and fawning is necessary temporally for deer populations to receive the most benefit. A study began August 2017 in an effort to assess the effectiveness of the program and address some of the above mentioned details more closely.