Coyotes are known for disrupting the whitetail’s normal feeding and bedding routines. This harassment can cause deer to be highly unpredictable, becoming more evasive in their attempts to throw off the canines.
If a deer herd is chased or coyotes are just simply trotting around in the vicinity, the herd might split up or stay together in their efforts to evade the coyotes. Usually, the deer will move in a circular pattern to elude the danger.
Either way, they typically will not return to their preferred bedding area until the coyotes have ceased the pursuit and moved on.
If these prime bedding sites are not disturbed by coyotes defecating or urinating in and around the beds, the deer will return to the sanctuary. As mentioned above, the deer are actually trying to keep the coyotes away from their secured bedding — much like a parenting female deer fleeing to draw a predator away from where her infant fawn is concealed.
Editor’s note: This sidebar was written with Marie Kirkland.