Crazy Coyote Encounter
This happened Saturday morning. I knew there were some in the area, but this encounter really concerned me because the coyote showed no fear of me or Elroy. If anyone has any advice on how to handle something like this in the future, please let me know. It's our favorite park, we're there at least 3-4 times a week. I've copied and pasted the story from my blog...
The morning started off like any other Saturday. Up at 5:45 and out the door by 6:30. Drizzly, damp and raw out. We were a little over a mile into the woods, ready to meet the trail that takes us back out towards the other side of the park. Something caught my eye coming across the field, figured it was one of the big red or gray foxes we’ve been seeing. Nope. It was an effin coyote. It stopped long enough for me to take a picture. I turned Elroy’s attention toward the trail that headed down the hill, and we took off pretty quick. I thought the coyote would head in the opposite direction, but about 50 yards down the trail I looked back, and here it came over the hill following us. We hightailed it straight down the hill to the creek bottom as fast as we could figuring I could connect with the trail down there and get back to the truck. As we reached the bottom, the coyote had swung around and cut us off from the trail. Now I was starting to freak out a bit, it was only about 20 yards away at this point. So we headed back up the hill, and it followed right after us. I was trying my best to get up the hill, slipping in the mud as Elroy was going nuts barking and pulling like crazy as you could imagine. The coyote was now 5 feet from us. I picked up a stick, threw it and started screaming. It ran off a bit and we took off towards the trail and the truck in a full sprint. We got about 100 yards and I turned to check back, and there it was again, about 20 feet away. This time I could clearly see it’s left eye was scarred shut and it’s left leg was a bit gimpy. It looked matted and manged a bit and obviously soaking wet. And now it was snarling. Grabbed another stick, this time I screamed for help hoping someone may come along and scare it off, but it wouldn’t budge. Keep in mind this whole time I’m trying to go one direction out of the woods, covered in mud with no traction, while Elroy is pulling towards the coyote. We made another dash of about 50 yards and my lungs gave out. I turned around again and it was 10 feet behind us on the trail. I tried to gather myself. I tried to breathe. I threw another stick, grabbed Elroy’s bag of treats and launched it towards it. Then we made a 90 degree turn off the trail in a dead sprint through a thicket of sticker bushes. I looked over my shoulder to see the coyote sniff the treats and then continue after us. We lept off the bank about 6 feet in the air and landed in the middle of the creek, which was about 2 feet deep. I immediately thought “Shit, now my boots are waterlogged and I won’t be able to run.” Continued to cross the creek, through a swamp and I clawed up the hill towards a housing development and someone’s back yard. Halfway through the yard I looked back and didn’t see anything, I don’t think the coyote followed us across the creek. I stumbled between 2 houses and out into the street and basically collapsed. I thought I was having a heart attack. I put Elroy on his regular leash and continued down the street towards some fields that I knew would get us back to the truck. A man was out getting his morning paper, I could barely speak at this point, but I managed to muster “Excuse me sir, just wanted to let you know there’s a coyote down in the creek bottom behind your house and it just tried to attack us.” He kind of shrugged it off and walked back up his driveway. I can imagine we looked kind of crazy, completely covered in mud, both of us still struggling for breath and me wobbling on legs of jelly, at 7AM on a Saturday morning. We cut through a hedgerow, across the fields where we do our usual evening runs. We came across a woman walking, and I warned her what we just went through, she immediately thanked us and turned around to head where she came from. We made one last dash across the final field, scanning the edge of the woods the entire time, crossed the bridge and the truck was in sight. We came to a slow walk, I got Elroy clipped into the back of the truck, and I collapsed on the ground and started dryheaving. My chest was on fire and I was shaking. I got into the truck, stripped off my outer layers, chugged some water and barely composed myself enough to drive home. I was a mess, both physically and mentally when Kate came down the stairs to greet me.