Hey, Mckysdad! Sounds like you read "Never Cry Wolf". Good book.
Between ranchers' anecdotal evidence over decades and some ten years' worth of wildlife biologists' study, it is reasonably concluded that in Texas, a mountain lion will take a deer every week to ten days, if the deer are available.
In my area, the lions move in, kill while the killing is good, and then move on. They take rabbits and quail, of course--I've seen them. One year, during a three-day hunt on some land I leased, I saw more mountain lion tracks than deer tracks. Three different sizes of lion tracks. I saw no deer and few tracks in an area where I usually killed a pretty nice buck...
All predators are opportunists--which is part of why it's fair to call homo sap a predator. In general, coyotes won't attack a half-grown calf, but if Maw & Paw Koyote and their half-grown pups find a cow giving birth, I'd bet on veal for supper. They will kill sheep and goats "for the fun of it". That's been seen too often to deny it. Day in, day out, coyotes and wolves are mostly found to subsist on mice and rabbit-type critters. The problem is weekends and holidays, when bigger critters are on the menu.
Some six weeks back, I had a coyote come into the front yard and make a half-hearted run toward the birds at the feeder. The doves all flew; the quail ran off, oh, eight or ten feet. The quail then started walking towards Ol' Wily, chik-chirring mightily, cussing him out, bigtime. He looked insulted, turned and stalked off...
No such thing as "too much" outdoors, I reckon.
slymule: I was reading an article a few years back about the residential development in the Front Range foothills of the Rockies. The west side of the I-25 corridor. When folks first moved into this winter range for deer and elk, they saw lots of deer and elk. The herd-numbers declined over time. Residents blamed hunters. Biologists blamed loss of habitat and impacts with cars, etc. If you fill up the winter dining table with people, critters go elsewhere, and over time their numbers match the carrying capacity of the land that's left to them. It's not just the amount of land that's covered up; it's the accompanying noise and hassle factor as well.
As a generality, white tails will move right indoors with you, or in the back yard, anyway. Mule deer and elk just aren't that social.