We feel deer feeding is the right thing to do. But we are doing the wrong thing by feeding wintering deer.

My family is guilty of feeding deer in the past years. We own a cattle ranch in North Florida and thought it would be nice to view deer in the winter months. But we didn’t know we were killing off our cattle by doing so.

We learned we also were supporting coyote food supplies and building up coyote herds. The population went from 10 coyotes to 100 coyotes in five years.

A wild deer travels its paths about every three days. If fed each day, within two years, that deer would travel their path each day, and establish a routine. The coyotes learn the routine, making it easy to ambush the deer.

Bringing coyotes close to homes is also not a good thing. We’ve learned by raising cattle that coyotes know three days before a cow drops her calves. The same goes for deer. When deer are fed, they bed down close to homes and the young deer become easy prey for coyotes. And now coyotes are a danger to attack people.

Living in Maine and Vermont over the past six winters, we see coyotes are getting out of control. We have fewer deer and more coyotes near our Maine home this fall.

People should not feed the deer.

Leo and Gloria Turner, Mexico

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