I was over in the unit last weekend bouncing around the desert scouting for my upcoming hunt. I figured numbers were low in this unit, but was shocked at how few antelope I seen over the 3 days.
It seemed like there really was no rhyme or reason as to where they were at.
The info I received from the game and fish wasn't real helpful, but plan on calling back to talk to someone with someone with some better intel.
Any guidance from someone who has spent time in the unit? I plan on heading back over in a couple weeks to do some final scouting.
Pronghorn fawn mortality too high to maintain herds
From Reports 11:46 a.m. MDT July 5, 2016
In an effort to increase the numbers in pronghorn herds, scientists are studying causes of fawn deaths
Story Highlights : Thirty-nine of 58 fawns captured, died within a month of release from various causes including predation
Officials with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish announced last week that they will be partnering with Texas Tech University to address low pronghorn fawn survival rates in south-central New Mexico. The low survival rate over the last five years has biologists looking for answers.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish personnel, in collaboration with Texas Tech University, captured 58 fawns outside of Capitan, in Lincoln County in an effort to discover the primary causes for high fawn mortality. The pronghorn fawns were captured in May and June using a hoop net. Body measurements were taken and ear-tag transmitters placed on each animal and then they were quickly released to reduce overall stress.
None of the fawns died during the capture. However, less than a month into the study biologists documented 39 deaths, more than 50 percent of which are known to be the result of predation. 12 of the fawns were taken by bobcats, 11 by coyotes, 15 from unknown causes and one due to failing to cross a fence.
“Based on what we’ve seen during past surveys, the numbers don’t surprise me. It’s consistent with the survival rates over the last five to 10 years,” Orrin Duvuvuei, deer and pronghorn biologist for Game and Fish, said.
Duvuvuei said that at the end of the project, the department hopes to gain insight on potential management actions that can be applied to improve fawn survival rates.
Having already documented a past population decline, Game and Fish supplemented the existing pronghorn herd by relocating 152 animals over three years to the area. Without stronger recruitment into the existing herds, Game and Fish biologists said they fear the population may begin a downward trend.
Game and Fish conducted the study with funding from a Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration grant. Additionally, Texas Tech helped with both funding and personnel.
Didn't hear many coyotes though. Not as many as expected with as high as the rabbit population is.
I seen quite a few mule deer does, but didn't see many fawns with them either.