They are so elusive, at least around the vicinity of the hub of our place. Most often I spot one when I am driving somewhere. But when I’m around home and on foot there are always dogs with me or nearby, and so coyotes are not.
This coyote was in one of the pastures adjacent to the roadway. We spied it on our return trip from town. I went back out to try for photos but it was too watchful and my attempts to sneak over a hill were not successful. If he did not catch my scent, he heard me as I have not managed a way to stay quiet when walking in cold snow. I was still two hills away when it made off.
A glimpse of a wild canine still stirs something inside of me, my breath still catches. There is only one person I can speak to about these encounters and know, even if he doesn’t share the same sentiment, he will accept mine. But otherwise, in this agriculture country, there is no breathing room allowed for coyotes. Whether legal or illegal to hunt them, they are hunted, snared and shot year round. The fox gets more leeway and is less troubled by humans. I suppose since the majority of the mixed farms around here keep cattle, the fox poses little threat. Around sheep the wee fox can wreak havoc during early birthing.
I am well aware of the damages these wily creatures can cause, we’ve been through very harsh years with coyotes killing sheep and indirectly resulting in the death of dogs. And I believe a rancher needs to have the right to manage problem animals and secure the safety of livestock. But I am also well aware of what balance and coexistence feels like and the majority of the time this is the fluid state we exist in and so I can not hold long term grudges against these wild canines. I will remain grateful for each brief encounter I get.
------------------p.s Thank you for the recent comments. It is curious that similar comments and emails seem to arrive in batches. I am not online with the blog every day (I try to keep a healthy dose of off line time in my life) so don’t always reply to blog comments immediately, however, I do receive the comments in my email inbox and I hold them there as reminders that people are reading and checking in for the photographs. Know that I am thankful for that.