So, what I heard was they referenced a study that showed human feeding of coyotes increased the population and the alluded to it being more continuous or possibly year round. That nasty word - anecdotal observation in my area - very few people feed year corn round. None of my 15 adjacent landowners feed year round. A few of them not at all - half about two months - and me about 6 months. There are 100’s of thousands of acres in this state where supplemental feeding is not even allowed - as in all federal and state owned lands. At least in the podcasts I listened to, they talked about feeding of corn and how it might affect coon abundance - but did not provide supporting documentation specifically related to coons. My personal opinion is, it probably would - especially if provided year round - not quite so sure if only provided two or three months - but I have no evidence to support that.More good stuff from Gulsby and Lashley about ground nesting bird predation this week. Is baiting keeping coon populations propped up above normal levels? Hmmm
Their reference to trapping and the quickness with which coon populations recover is similar to what I see. That is why I do my trapping Mar-June. I usually see considerable repopulation within four months of my stopping trapping. I have not seen that the last 18 months - I would guess that is more related to something outside my control - maybe distemper or parvo - but I would guess my coon population the last two years is 25% of previous years. During that same period, my feral hog population is 10% of what it was two years ago.
There are so many variables. And while controlled research is often considered more true to form and more factual - it is somewhat anecdotal also, because it is generally site specific and likely not representative of the entire range of a particular species. As an example - these guys question the effects of supplemental feeding turkeys. Tall Timbers Plantation has found great value in supplemental feeding of quail - well, that is quail and not turkeys. About five years ago, I had two adult hen turkeys and eleven poults show up about the first of august. I mowed a five acre food plot and me and my wife fed them a mixture of bird seed and milo - for two months - until they finally left the end of September. We spread the seed randomly around the cleared field. Not a bird was lost in that two months. That is phenomenal in my opinion. I am not sure eleven poults living together have all survived two months - anywhere.
And yes, that is definitely anecdotal evidence - but it matches success seen with supplemental feeding of quail in northern Florida. I dont relate that experience to support supplemental feeding of turkeys - but mention it because, even though I saw success and so did Tall Timbers - I think it is a long ways from proving successful across the whole of turkey range. I think a lot of things are probably consistent across the whole range - but I think several studies would need to prove that.