I am actually much more worried about coyotes in my semi-rural/partially wooded home than I am when I am out fishing in the Smokies. Frankly bears don’t even bother me that much. My biggest concern when I am hiking along a river is copperheads. Coyotes largely avoid adults, only occasionally attacking pets and children as a general rule. So when Nate Edmonds found himself facing down a coyote in broad daylight, he knew it wasn’t good.
From Georgia Outdoor News:
“This isn’t good because I have never seen a coyote that close in daytime,” said Nate. “Well, I’ve never seen a coyote that close period. I’m sure I’ve passed them many times in the woods, but their first inclination is to get away from you. It seemed like this one just found me out.”
Nate started to clap his hands and yell, trying to scare the coyote off so he could get back to his truck. The animal paid no attention to the noise and continued to stand in the way staring back at him. It showed no signs of aggression, but it didn’t move all the same. Nate tried clapping and yelling again but still got no reaction from the coyote.
“I thought, ‘Maybe, just maybe, people have left food on the trail, and this thing associates me with food, but it’s not going to be aggressive about it,’” said Nate. “So I was just going to take a really wide berth and get around this guy. My plan was to never turn my back on it, but I was going to cut off the trail, make a very wide path, and maintain eye contact with it but get around to the other side of it where I could get to the truck.”
Nate began to make his way around the coyote, and he had barely taken two steps before the animal growled, lunged at him and latched onto his boot. Between slipping on the wet ground and trying to kick the animal off his boot, Nate lost his footing and hit the ground.
“It let go of my boot and re-latched onto my shin,” said Nate. “That’s when it actually tore my pants and broke the skin. I was able to kick it off with my right foot though and somehow pin its head between both of my feet. That’s when I was able to get my knife out of my pocket and was able to stab it once between its shoulders and its back.”
After he finished off the coyote, Nate called the Jones County Sheriff’s department, who then got in contact with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at nearby Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. They sent someone out to get a report, take pictures and send the coyote off to test for rabies.
The article doesn’t say whether or not the coyote was actually rabid. It certainly didn’t behave normally. Doctors gave Nate a prophylactic course of rabies vaccine, which led to a pretty severe counter-reaction. The treatment, while prudent, turned out to be worse than the injuries he suffered in the attack.