Coyote Attacking Deer At Kentucky Lake

I heard a bawling sound in the back of a bay on Kentucky Lake. It took a milli-second for my memory to recall the sound. It was a deer. I heard that crying once before when an older large buck was trying to corner a young doe late in the breeding season.

Then the deer came running out on to the mudflat with a coyote hanging on to the side of its neck, The doe still bawling. The attack continued with the coyote grabbing an ear and the cheek of the doe. This went on for about 200-300 yards with the doe tiring and its tongue beginin to hang out. Getting closer and closer to Kentucky Lake. The coyote latched on to the tongue of the deer and slammed on the brakes flipping the deer over. The deer exhausted laying down on the mud flat, I hollered and the coyote looked up at me.

The deer raised its head and stood back up with the coyote on the attack again. The deer made it into the lake and the coyote pursued nipping and holding on to the deer’s flank. As the water got deeper the deer kicked the coyote under the water at one point. When the deer was deep enough that the coyote had to swim, the coyote gave up. Returning to shore. The deer continued swimming heading for a point probably 1000 yards away further out in the bay.

Ya, never know what you might see. I did not think a single coyote could take down an adult deer. Now I know different. The deer did escape, the coyote returning to the woods in search of an easier meal I spose’. The doe to hopefully heal its wounds, bites on the neck, ear, nose, flank and tongue.

It is fascinating to me to observe the natural world. The circumstances not always a beautiful thing to see, but truly learning about the lives of other species…

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6 Responses to Coyote Attacking Deer At Kentucky Lake

  1. Larry Patterson says:

    Jim, What a great encounter for you to observe and your photography as usual fantastic. Hope all is well; tell Ron hello. Larry

  2. Amazing series of photos. That was one lucky deer!
    I’ve seen animals do some strange things but never anything like that! (It probably happens all the time.)

    • Jim Johnson says:

      New Hampshire Gardener,
      Yes, I thought the deer was done for once the coyote had it on the ground. I doubt I will ever see that happen again. We have a large number of coyotes here usually see them early in the morning. We hear them often at night and it seems like a pack is chasing something at times as the yipping moves…

  3. Ellen Bunnell says:

    My jaw dropped for the entire narration thinking you had just a photo or two. Amazing shots through the experience. An awesome event for you to see and record to view in detail. I’m still stunned. The strength of the deer to swim away and live on. Life and death in nature, wow.

    • Jim Johnson says:

      Ellen Bunnell,
      It was something to see. Wondering if instinct directed the deer to head for the deep water of the lake to escape. I made adjustments in shutter speed by guesstimate as it was happening so fast. Turned out they were good. So much luck involved in capturing something like that. First to be in the right place and the right time. Second to be able to get in a position to have a clear shooting lane. Only a few shots had a tree limb get in the way. The pics do show how narrow the window can be between life and death in nature…

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