Coyote Confrontation

Oftentimes on our morning walk we can see different sorts of animal life here on the upper slopes of Mount Miramar – typically of the bunny and quail and jogger variety.  Most times, Penny will chase the birds and bunnies quite happily (well, happily for her, I don’t think the birds & bunnies are all that crazy about it) – it’s just part of what she does.
Now one of the things Penny almost never does is bark, and so it’s always a surprise to hear this really deep “woof” coming from my dog.  And so this morning, we were walking our normal trail and Penny had taken off after a bunny that had chosen an inopportune time to cross our path, when a few moments later from up ahead I hear growling and then Penny’s deep “Woof, woof woof!” barking.  I take off for what for me these days counts as a sprint.

I reach the intersection of two trails and there’s Penny barking and slowly backing away from a healthy looking coyote that was about 30 feet away.  Now we hear coyotes all the time here, but usually only see them at a pretty comfortable distance.  When I got onto the scene, Penny came right over to me (which I was really happy about) and turned and continued to growl and bark.  The coyote must have figured the tables were turning and began to slowly slink away.  I leashed Penny* and threw a couple of rocks to hasten its departure.

Penny got lots of hugs and treats and even got to chase a couple more bunnies as we finished our morning hike.  Good girl.
*I didn’t want Penny to think that we were playing fetch when I threw the rocks.

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27 thoughts on “Coyote Confrontation

  1. I was jogging quite early at the Lake a few years ago, and a coyote stood right in the path. Sauntered over to me, slowly but did not seem shy at all (and yes it was a coyote). Scared the heck out of me that he was so bold. After what seemed like forever he lost interest and walked away. Of course at my jogging spot some very dumb people often throw them food so they're probably a bit too used to humans.

  2. I am so glad that Penny and you are both OK. Penny is a gorgeous dog. So good that she came when you called. Wow, I bet you were shocked. I know that we have coyotes on our mountain, but thankfully, I have never "run in to one" while hiking.

  3. Scary! I'm glad you and Penny escaped the coyote unharmed! My main worry during my runs these days is the gander of geese that hang out by the river. I know they can be nasty so I tend to cross the road if they are too close to the sidewalk.

  4. I used to think these things weren't a threat at all, and when I've seen them out on the trail they either ignore me or walk away. But a month or so ago, a woman was killed by coyotes somewhere, a jogger I think. I forget where. But I think mainly they're a threat to animals up to about cat size – they'll very definitely take a house cat.

  5. Emmi — unfortunately, I think they're getting a little like bears in some places — very used to being around people and learning not to be all that afraid of them. This one wasn't very interested in me, which was good — but I know there are a lot in the area.

  6. LW — sorry — didn't have my camera this morning — though some morning's I take it. That coyote was pure google-image search — though this one did sort of look like that — kind of a mangy German Shepherd look.

  7. Bookish — I've heard that geese and swans can be really really mean — that would seem so weird, but I understand they're really aggressive at times.

  8. Mark — I fear they're going to get like bears are in some places — way too comfortable living in an populated environment. Fortunately, this one was skittish — and it seemed to be the only one.

  9. I have seen them in the SW. And heard them. In fact, my son and I were sitting outside one night and we could hear them and he wanted to go inside!

  10. That sure is scary! I'm glad Penny was cautious and very obedient, and that the coyote didn't decide to make a meal out of Penny. I'm thankful you both were unharmed. I hope you don't run into a coyote again, or at least for a while.

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