What information do you have that says there was low hunting pressure on carnviores by man prior to Europeans arriving in America? I disagree. Native Americans competed with carnivores, and any time they could get the upper hand, they eliminated them. This was to protect their families, and their "free-ranging" livestock--deer, buffalo, etc. Neither of us has any stats or proof, but my way makes more sense.
At a time when a couple of predators are expanding their ranges and populations, how can you say there are fewer carnivores now than in the "good ol' days" before the evil Europeans (my predominant ancestry, along with American Indian) showed up and slaughtered them all? Sure, there are less grizzly bears in the lower 48 than ever before, but that has to do more with habitat depletion than hunting.
What balance is there today in the wild that according to your statistics there are 11 times as many deer in the U.S. now than 200 years ago, and yet there is a considerable reduction in their habitat since then? If there is such a balance, then why do they get diseases? Could OVERpopulation be the answer?
You've played right into the argument by saying there are fewer carnivores and more herbivores today than ever before. Predator reduction=the flourishing of the prey. Besides, aren't there WAY more deer hunters than predator hunters out there? We want more deer, and less competition for them when we hunt.
I don't believe in eradicating predators totally. But I am especially unsympathetic to coyotes. Like I have said before, I live in a heavily populated area, and I am sure coyotes routinely pass within a quarter mile of my house.
If a rancher tells you that coyotes are killing his newborns, and packing up to kill full-grown cattle, believe him. Especially if he saw it with his own eyes. And you can bet the coyotes are doing the same thing in the woods where they don't "bother" anything. They are doing what they were designed to do--kill for food with the most efficient strategy.
Most anything published today on wildlife has a touchy-feely bias, remember that!
Man has learned some lessons in conservation since the big slaughters prior to the Depression. (Most of the increase in the deer population you mentioned has ocurred in the last 40 years, believe it or not.) Now we have to learn what to do with the plenty that we have...
Not a flame, just a cross-examination and rebuttal!