Not certain of the age of this coyote but it was hunting with a partner, who subsequently disappeared at a far off distance.
However, this one continued its hunting along the top of the ridge until finally making its way down through the grass where it eventually ended up across from the creek where I was seated.
It definitely was on a hunting mission, periodically stopping to stop, jump & pounce for hidden rodents, albeit a relaxed & non-aggressive meander and that's when it took a "time out" where it just sat and took in the scenery (Photo #5).
Coyotes should always be treated with great respect and viewed from a safe distance. That having been said, normally I don't have an opportunity to lift the camera and have it focused before the coyote removes itself from the area. I do carry a small repellant spray for coyotes & domestic dogs but in all the years, I have been photographing wildlife the only issues I have had are with dogs who have been left off-lead (illegally) and the owners not taking any responsibility. Last Winter I had an unnerving experience with a pit bull when it ran up and sat behind me on the log where I was sitting and proceeded to try to play (and only play thank goodness) by climbing onto my back. The owner did absolutely nothing although he was less than 30 feet away. Eventually the dog returned to its "dog walker" where the two crept off on an alternative path. I purchased the spray the next day.
Now this coyote was looking for rodents that had been disturbed by removal of some debris by the creek, earlier in the week. It was on one side of the creek and I was on the other side. When the coyote appeared to direct its attention to my side of the creek, I enacted the "tsch" sound and it jumped back and trotted down the creek where it crossed much further down. And I did see it enter the woods, merrily jumping & pouncing on potential mice, etc. and finally disappeared as it moved out of the vicinity.
Coyotes naturally have a healthy respect for humans unless they have pups in a den close by, where they are on the defensive or they have been subject to feeding by people, a crime for which coyotes pay dearly. When will we, humans, understand that wildlife does well enough on its own and interference by us only results in its termination.
Thanks to this gorgeous coyote, I have a moment committed to memory & the photographs to remind me of the coyote's walk on the wild side.