An experimental wolf control program was conducted on northern Vancouver Island from 1982/83 to 1986/87 to determine the impact of wolf control on black-tailed deer numbers and to assess the efficacy of trapping and shooting as a method of wolf control in coastal forests. Black-tailed deer, especially fawns in summer, provided most of the wolf diet on Vancouver Island. Elk and beaver were secondary prey sources. Mortality factors other than wolf predation (cougar, black bear, hunter harvest, winter kill) were not responsible for initiating deer declines in the study area. High wolf densities resulted in apparent low fawn survival and subsequent low recruitment into the adult population. Care must be taken in the evaluation of fawn survival as predator pressure appears to result in increased hiding behaviour and/or nocturnal activity by does with fawns; thus, lower-than-actual fawn survival is estimated. An average annual wolf kill of 59% of the post-denning population resulted in a declining wolf population.
Atkinson, K.T., Janz, D.W.. 1994. Effect of Wolf Control on Black-tailed Deer in the Nimpkish Valley on Vancouver Island. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Wildlife Bulletin. B73