I got a lot of footage from this single coyote bitch from Friday night. This is the video of her initial approach.
She comes in uphill from the scent marks, which gives her a view of any potential rivals or threats. She is also approaching from downwind, so she can smell if there is a human with a gun waiting for her or just a impudent young coyote that needs a good thrashing.
The scent-marking behavior is something I’ve only seen in domestic dogs in male dogs when a bitch is in heat. Both coyotes and dogs have scent glands on their feet, and when they urinate and kick up like that, they are leaving plenty of chemical communication.
I’ve been trying to get extended coyote behavior on camera for quite some time now. This isn’t the LA suburbs, where coyotes go out walking in the middle of the day. This is West Virginia, where everyone is armed and nearly everyone wants to kill a coyote
So you have to have a pretty quiet trail camera that doesn’t have obnoxious flashing lights, and you have to have some decent attractant. All it took was a brand of coyote urine that is normally used to cover up the scent on an electronic caller.
As nice as it is to get bobcats and gray foxes on the camera, the coyotes top them all. You can really see in the behavior this animal how it is so much like a domestic dog. 99.3 percent of their DNA is shared, and although they rarely cross in the wild, they are pretty close to each other. One is a creature that lives by being part of man’s society and using its wits to ingratiate itself with us, while the other lives under the constant worry of our violence. And both are doing very well.