Checking out The unique ecology of human predators at sciencemag.org, TTAG reader WS stumbled across a scientific truism to tantalize deer hunters: “In natural predator pray situations, predators target the young and old of the prey species they’re hunting.” The study’s co-author Tom Reimchen points out the problem with human hunting patterns: “Whereas predators primarily target the juveniles or ‘reproductive interest’ of populations, humans draw down the ‘reproductive capital’ by exploiting adult prey.” WS explains the implications in non-scientific terms . . .
“If a hunter takes Bambi, Bambi’s mom just loses a fawn, which is easily replaced when she reproduces Bambi 2.0. in the next mating season. If a hunter kills Bambi’s mom, because Bambi is just is juvenile he or she has to wait a long time to reproduce. Bambi has to grow up, avoiding being eaten by other predators and then have twins to bring the deer heard back into balance.” Makes sense to me. You?