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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...

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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 “****, 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.
 

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Yikes ! Very scary, indeed!! So unpredictable, too...

I've noticed in news reports over the years, that usually, when wild animals get bold and brave like that, and actually attack people and/or pets, it's because they are injured or sick, and basically starving. Mountain Lions, Bears, Coyotes, etc., that are healthy will typically prefer their natural food sources. But when you throw starvation into the mix, all bets are off.

So glad you made it back home safe and sound!!
 

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Sounds like a horrible experience. Glad you are safe. I second mswhipple but also wanted to add that it could be rabbies. I would contact your local DNR or government agency to report this.
 

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http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2010/01/coming-up-to-coyote-pack-during-evening.html

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/07/young-coyote-teaches-vizsla.html

Either very hungry from a long winter or guarding a den close by.

I bought a pair of strong "trekking poles" (like ski poles) that I now carry and use when we go on our hill walks. I want something more than a stick. We come across coyotes way to often in the open spaces. They are getting bolder as they know they are "protected."

I'd prefer to carry a sidearm like Rick Perry did in Texas when he came across a coyote that was endangering his dog.

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/03/governor-of-california-and-texas.html

But I live in California, so that won't be happening.

Good luck and protect yourself out there.

Have Elroy on a training collar so he doesn't get lured into an ambush.

Hard to set up training for this. Just be careful this time of year.

I agree with Born36. Report this coyote to the authorities. It is dangerous in its condition.

RBD
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. I did report this to the people who oversee the parks in our area, and I called the police this morning as well. Rod, you echoed my first thought, which would be to get a permit to carry a weapon. I do have some walking sticks, but I'm not sure that would of been much help. For now I think I'm going to keep some pepper spray in my bag and avoid going back there in the early morning.
 

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Thats terrifying!
We're having a major coyote problem down here north of the GTA. My Mother in law's cat was taken from their backyard by a coyote. The population has increased so quickly that there's not enough resources for them, and they are getting way too bold.
Good idea on the pepper spray, and maybe consider a folding knife or something of that nature. Hope you never are in that situation again. :(
 

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Wow, that is kinda scary. I went for an early morning walk (5am) on Saturday in a beautiful forest area, as I like to walk Axel when no one is around (very peaceful), however it was still kind of dark outside and I kept thinking of Cougars stalking me in the back of my mind. I actually have a concealed pistol license for my Sig Sauer p229 .40 calibre. However, I never carry it with me unless I am going to the firing range to shoot. I feel safe walking in the woods probably 98% of the time, but I am sure like yourself and many different states and countries on this forum have more wild animals and dangers and have to use more common sense, and be aware of their surroundings.
 

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Scary!

The pepper spray is a good idea. They sell pepper spray for bears as well. The can is bigger to hold more. I don't know if the spray goes farther or not, but it might be worth checking.
 

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That does sound scary.
RBD is right. In Texas we carry guns.
But a word of advise, don't get a gun unless you plan on learning how to use it. Then plan on staying efficient with it.
I use a shoulder holster to carry my 357. Its out of the way unless I need it.
I'm out in the woods alone with the dogs, so its not just animals I worry about.
 

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I think a small gas-powered airsoft gun would be a better deterrent than pepper spray. My father-in-law, who used to work in corrections, always said to use extreme caution with pepper spray and only use it if someone (or something) is VERY close to you and you have no other recourse. Why? He said you risk getting a substantial amount of the spray in your own face/eyes/mouth (especially if it's windy) and you may also end up incapacitated.
 

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I would have to think the coyote is in survival mode if not sick.
I wouldn't take a BB gun to that kind of fight.
Does your parks department try to find and remove the rogue ones?
 

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Hmmmm. I just saw this review of the UDAP spray on Cabela's website, supposedly from a Massachusetts vet who survived a bear attack:

SAVED MY LIFE
August 27, 2007
"This product saved my life in Sept. of 2002. I was 14 miles from a road when the Grizzly broke and mangled my leg. When I yelled out, my friend got up to his knees and took on the 400 lb mother griz with cubs. She got off of me and charged him. He stopped her cold at 5 ft with a can of UDAP pepper spray. She hit the spray like she hit a wall and we never saw her again. If you are going to be in bear country and plan to ever leave your car, BUY THIS PRODUCT and read the directions and bear advise booklet enclosed. I am a veterinarian and a shooter and a griz survivor and I can't stress this enough: I would take UDAP pepper spray over a gun any day. We probably won't need seat belts or insurance but you get and use them anyway. You probably won't need the pepper spray either but consider the consequences of not having it. This is especially true for those who travel with their wives and children. If you can't protect them, who can?? I can't say enough about UDAP pepper."

Not sure if the review is legit, but there seem to be similar stories out there, and I haven't seen any complaints or counter-claims.

FWIW....
 

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If we had Coyotes and bears and had less restrictive gun ownership laws, I would be carrying a weapon too. Here in Australia, we are also restricted from even carrying a knife of any effectiveness. If you are caught carrying one, without a valid reason, ie- you are hunting, camping, or are a farmer, then the repercussions are considerable, including a gaol (Jail for you U.S. Citizens) term.


Doug, I felt your sense of fear reading that post. I am relieved to know both of you came away with nothing more than some mud and a raised heartbeat.

I have never had a situation with a Coyote obviously, as we don't have them here in Australia. I have had a few rogue kangaroo Bucks have a go at me, but unlike most animals, as long as you run, they normally won't chase. It's more if you have them cornered or surprise them.

We also get packs of Dingos in certain areas that lack any fear of humans due to being protected for so many years. They are known to attack humans and dogs. So hopefully I never run into them.

Would a starter pistol be enough to frighten off a Coyote?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for everyone's replies. For now I think I'm going to carry a bigger knife, a walking stick, and pepper spray just in case for extreme situations. I spoke with the police and the park association and they are going to look for the coyote and try to take it out, since they definitely think something is wrong with it. We went back to the park last night, but we didn't go back on the trails into the woods, stayed in the open fields and close to the truck. I was paranoid with my head on a swivel the whole time, but hey, Elroy needs his exercise! It was a quicker outing than usual and I tried to keep Elroy a little closer to me and out of the woods.
 

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We think we had a wolf encounter this morning on an early walk. Last month, I heard a pack howling in the near distance and today what appeared to be a wolf stepped out in the path about 200 feet ahead of us. It could have been a wolf hybrid or husky (definitely not a coyote), but there were no people around (this is an island, so you see the cars parked on the causeway if anyone else is on the island). As soon as my boyfriend yelled at it, it turned around and took off and we didn't see it again, nor did any people emerge on the path. We had Finch and one of our labs off-leash at the time. Finch recalled but the lab started running after it. Luckily she's a nervous dog and didn't run too far before returned to us. I don't think we'll ever know for sure, but I am going to call the town later today to report it just in case.


They are trying to build a big shipping port on this island, which all the locals are trying to stop, so I bet if there are protected wolves living there, that might put a stop to it :)
 

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I can understand wanting to protect your Island from change. But I would watch how I went about it. Wolves multiply fast and could become a problem in no time.
 
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