Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bloody Dingo Stole My Boonie!

(Although this happened in Wyoming, it is best read with an Australian Accent)
When you visit Yellowstone National Park, you see signs everywhere warning you to keep a safe distance from the wildlife. Good advice, especially considering that I was visiting the Park during the rut, when hormones run high and tempers are short.

Western Coyotes are rather common throughout Yellowstone
and tend to be rather wary
I was driving down a fairly well-traveled dirt road when I saw a Coyote in a field just a short distance away. The light was perfect so I pulled over, put on my favorite hat and got out to get a few shots. The animal was hunting for mice and seemed completely unaware of me. At one point, it trotted over to the road and began coming my way. As it approached, I moved towards the open door of my car and started to get in, figuring that the animal would pass by.

Note the shifty-look in his eyes!
Much to my surprise, as I was almost in my car, the Coyote turned and ran right at me! Surprised and a bit frightened, I turned to try to put my large telephoto lens between myself and the animal. As it jumped towards me, I pushed it down with the lens, but somehow lost my footing and fell very hard right into it. In the process, my hat fell off and my camera hit the ground.

What happened next surprised me even more than the initial charge. As I was trying to get to my feet, I saw the Coyote grab my hat in its mouth and run from the car. I had the sense to pick up my camera and catch a few quick shots as the miserable creature ran off with my hat. I cautiously followed for a bit, hoping to get the hat back, but the coyote darted down a hole and that was the last I saw of the hat.

He stopped for a minute to eat a piece of the hat
and then pee on it, just for good measure
I know that I was lucky not to get bitten and have to get rabies shots. On the other hand, I landed on some very large rocks held in place by the entire state of Wyoming and ended up covered in huge bruises. Shortly after the mutt buried my hat, it came back to the road where a small crowd had gathered and charged right into the group of people. Bad Coyote! BAD! You know, they are only the size of a large cat - I should have kicked it into the middle of next month!

Just a little "victory howl" to let everyone know who's boss!
On a side note, I contacted the seller of the hat, and they immediately sent me a replacement.

Me with my new replacement hat

There are more lots stories available on this site. I apologize if they suck, but I write them myself. Maybe it's just my way of getting back at the world. Since I get paid every time someone clicks on one of my sponsor's links, please take the time to visit one or two so that I don't have to get a real job.

You can see thousands of my photos at  They are all available for sale as prints or licence. I have a section where you can find birds by species or hard-to-find vertical shots for your next magazine cover

1 comment:

  1. Cool story - I've seen these but never had a chance to interact with them by any measure, especially not like this. He must have really wanted that hat.

    As for your other stories, you should use the Oregon Newt tale - it's one of my favs.