While out for a hike with my lovely photographer friend, we had gone across the train tracks and were scrambling down to the river, when we saw a man, alone, working at gutting some fish (we think?). He was by some Pondarosas close to shore, and I remember we were a little leary, as, all over the news that day they were warning the public about a dangerous man the Police were hunting down. So, of course, our imaginations were in overdrive when my friend saw something dart up a massive old Pondarosa just to the left of the fishing Man. I remember saying “No, no, its a porcupine” LOL! Nope. It was a Bobcat, drawn to the man cutting up fish and we had scared it up the tree. It was unreal how no one had seen this Bobcat until we scared it, and, even looking through the pictures now, his camouflage is uncanny. Unsettling.
Roland and I suited up and went out for a hike today, only to have it cut short. The culprit: Coyote. It seemed rather apt that it would be cut short by wildlife, as it is Wildlife Week right now.
Now, Miss Belle and I have been surrounded by a pack of coyotes twice before, once they actively ran around us trying to corral Belle off into the bush, the second time they just popped out every now and then to watch us go by. I Usually don’t worry too much, Miss Belle never goes far from me and I have bear spray if anything really bad happens, BUT, now I am hiking with a 3-½ month old Bebe. A nice woman and her dog had stopped us on our way up and warned us that a coyote was up the way, and showed a picture she snapped on her phone before turning around. It was a big fella, looking nice and healthy, lol.
This made me think that maybe a little information on coyotes would be good, I mean, knowledge before heading out into the bush is always a good idea. Where we grew up, you could hear never ending tales of dogs being lured off by a lone coyote to its hidden brothers in the bush.
A general rule if you are out hiking is to NOT be quiet. Whistle, stomp, sing to your dog, this way you aren’t quietly sneaking up on wildlife. If a coyote is behaving unafraid or aggressive towards you, be loud, talking in a deep voice, and make yourself look bigger, hold your arms up and walk away slowly. Try to maintain eye contact as you leave. Always pick up small children and pets, as they are seen as easy pickin’s.
Side note: anyone who has been to the Kamloops wildlife park has probably seen the Cougar there stalk children as they walk by, it’s frickin terrifying and sobering to see. All wildlife goes for the small or weak.
Coyotes eat smaller mammals, bird eggs, lizards, and baby deer (or any baby ungulate). I was thinking this guy looked so large and health because there is a huge group of hoary marmots that live beside the compost site at the start of the trail.
One last thing to remember is also the time of year, February is usually mating season, so, one can also wonder if there are other coyotes around, or if the coyote was a pregnant female. As a new mom I can attest to being HULK MOM SMASH ENEMY, so why wouldn’t wildlife protect their young the same way?
If you want more information Wildsafe BC is an amazing resource for our area. And always report any aggressive wildlife.