It's never just a walk in the park for me but for this coyote what started out as a romp down the hill to the meadow below, ended in a flat out chase and in this instance, the coyote wasn't the pursuer.
First we have the descent down the hill with a brief stop for a much needed scratch (Photo #1).
Then there was the walk along the meadow's edge (Photo #2 through to Photo #4).
Finally, well I didn't think it was the best decision this coyote could have made but then again I'm not a coyote. Rather than make it back up the hill and take the path along the ridge and then descend again and into the woods some distance along, the coyote decided to take the most direct route which was unfortunately through a herd of mule deer does.
There was that moment when coyote stare met mule deer stare. Then the flag went down and the largest mule deer doe headed straight for the coyote in a flat out run with the other six following in hot pursuit. It was a heart stopping moment for me as the photos show, that alpha doe came so close to making full on contact with the coyote (Photo #5 through to Photo #7).
Wildlife mothers are, of course, extremely defensive of their young so the response was totally understandable but in this instance I was cheering for the "underdog". I have seen this particular coyote on its own on several occasions now and I believe it be a youngster probably born in Spring 2022. Hopefully, it's a lesson well earned for the coyote not to approach, on its own, prey animals as large as deer even if it is purely out of curiosity or the shortest route to where it's going.
And one might ask where were the male mule deer, particularly the larger stags, when this event was unfolding. Well after the coyote had been chased up to the very top of the ridge where it disappeared and the does went back to peacefully grazing, one lone stag appeared out of the woods with that "What's Up?" attitude (Photo #8).