Wolf, bear, coyote or bobcat.
If you had to name the carnivore that kills the most white-tailed deer in the Upper Midwest, which would you pick?
If you are thinking smaller rather than larger, you're on the right track.
The answer is coyote, at least according to preliminary data from a study in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The sample sizes were rather small, and I am somewhat skeptical of how robust or generalizable these findings are. As for the data:
In all, 57 adult deer and 44 fawns have been captured and fitted with tracking devices.
The data are from Jan. 1, 2009 through Aug. 31, 2010. Though preliminary, they are showing some very interesting results.
Coyotes in the study area were responsible for 13 fawn mortalities, followed by bobcat (9), unknown predator (5), abandonment (4), unknown agent (3), black bear (2), vehicle collision (2), wolf (2) and bald eagle (1).
Among adult and yearling female deer, coyote killed 6, followed by wolf (3), black bear (2), drowning (2), birthing complications (1), vehicle collision (1) and unknown predator (1).