| Comments (3) | Misc Sports
Was running at Rancho this afternoon (Lower Meadow, Wildcat, Upper wildcat, Upper High Meady, Rogue Valley; Rancho Runner code: 2DYcEF3UTS6RKLNM3FEcYD2) and right as I was coming up from Wildcat to Upper High Meadow what do I see but a coyote. Unfortunately, I neglected to read the instructional placard about what to do if you see one, but I remembered something about making yourself look big. Anyway, he (actually, I don't know it was a he—I didn't get close enough to check out its crotch) was on the trail in my way so we sort of edged past each other, me on one side of the trail and him on the other until we'd sort of swapped positions. At this point I started slowly backing away and he started to follow me a bit, but I gradually made some distance. Once I thought I was far enough away, I started running but at that point he started running after me. I don't expect to be able to outrun a coyote, so I turned around, raised my hands (trying to look big, remember) and yelled "aaargh" at him. He looked pretty startled and started to walk away, which seemed sort of promising. I backed away and finally after I turned the corner I looked back and he didn't seem to be following so I took off. Sorry, I don't have any pictures. This may be the one run where I regretted not having a camera; that and maybe an AK.


A coyote isn't very large for a canid. You could almost certainly have beaten him in a fair fight if you were willing to fight dirty. (Most people aren't willing to do stuff like dashing out the brains of an animal or breaking its neck -- we're too well socialized by our pets.) You would have gotten mauled, perhaps badly, in the process, but I don't think you could have lost. Given that, I have my doubts about whether the coyote was really planning on going after you, because even if you didn't realize you could hurt it or kill it, the coyote was probably not under so many illusions. It may have just been making sure you left its territory.

Just realized the unintended insanity of writing "fair fight" and "fight dirty" in the same sentence, among other things -- but the comment stands. I don't think any rational coyote would hunt a runner, he or she was probably guarding puppies or had some similar territorial worry.

Hopefully, there were a few rocks around, pick one up. (I wonder how one could survive a mauling a few miles out... probably work hard to stay warm and stop the bleeding first... then see if there are other hikers, etc. around... then just walking out?)

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