One early winter afternoon, I decided to see if I could call in and photograph a coyote before the weather turned unfavorable. Once I settled in and started my sequence of coyote calls, I noticed the kind of black cloud lurking overhead that usually means rain, sleet or snow. I knew whatever weather was in store would be short lived (normally the case with Northwest weather), so I covered my camera equipment and waited for the storm to clear.
For about 15 minutes, it snowed so hard that I couldn’t see further out than 40 or 50 yards. Then, just as suddenly as it began, the storm was over. Once I got my equipment uncovered, I noticed a coyote had come in and was scanning the hillside in my direction. I tried every call in my arsenal to get him to move in closer, but he wouldn’t budge. After a few minutes, he turned and walked away. I knew the coyote hadn’t caught my scent and I was pretty sure he hadn’t figured out my position, so l was confused on why he left.
After I’ve successfully called in a coyote, I will usually continue to call for another few minutes to see if another coyote is lurking about. Convinced no other coyotes were going to respond, I packed up my gear to leave the area. While hiking back, I noticed tracks in the fresh snow where two coyotes had come within 10 yards directly behind my position and sat down. Mystery solved! This is why the coyote I was photographing didn’t venture any further. Coyotes are territorial, and if one happens to stray onto another’s hunting ground, a fight will generally occur. This coyote evidently didn’t want to prove himself.
Photographing wild coyotes is a lot of fun and it seems like every time I venture out, I learn something new and unexpected.