Coyote encounter at Elephant Butte!

Oh no, not again!

The photo is poor because I took it directly into the sun while trying to get us away!

Spike, Bridget, and I take our early morning walk as usual. 

We walk out of the campground and down the road to neighboring Lion’s Beach Campground.  As we approach the campground I see a man sitting next to his trailer drinking what is probably a cup of coffee.  He notices us, too.  The campground is elevated. He can see us as we walk past the campground entrance to where the pavement ends.

I took this photo moments before I realized a coyote was near us.

The road turns to sandy dirt and crosses an area of scrubby grass, gradually becoming the sandy beach extending to the lake.

We encountered the coyote by those small trees. The entrance to the campground is to the left.

Spike stops us so he can sniff and pee on a clump of grass.  As Bridget and I stand waiting, I look around for coyotes.  My focus is on the distant terrain.  I am startled by what I see in the foreground.

About thirty feet away, a coyote stands staring at us!

The man up above us is on his feet.  In an incredulous voice he calls out, “Is that a coyote?”

“It sure is!  I’m getting the heck outta here!”

I hustle the crew back up the road as fast as I can without running.  I don’t know if Bridget and Spike know what’s going on, but they keep up with my quick pace.

On impulse I turn around and hold up my camera.  This could be a very dumb move, depending upon what happens in the next few minutes.  The sun is in my eyes.  Quickly I click in the direction of the coyote.  As we continue our fast retreat, the coyote circles behind us, crosses the road, and slinks out of our view along the wall of the elevated campsites.  Whew.  That was close.  He came out of nowhere.

Later I thought about this coyote encounter. 

Strangely, the coyote did not seem a threat to us.  There was something sad about it.  I wonder if it was the same coyote that stalked us before.  That coyote was menacing. This coyote seemed as surprised by us as we were by him.  Whatever the case, I’m glad we went our separate ways!

The crew and I are going out for dinner!

Chuck and Geri invited us over to their house in Truth or Consequences.  I’m sure we’ll have a great time!



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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17 Responses to Coyote encounter at Elephant Butte!

  1. JoJo says:

    Old Wiley, may have had his breakfast already. Those close encounters are scary. We had quite a few around the RV last night. But I haven’t heard any tonight. I don’t know if its all this wind that is keeping them away. Be careful.

  2. Emily says:

    On my trip home, last month, I encountered more coyotes working the highway right-of-ways for road kill than I have probably ever seen before. All were lone animals and even encountered a tussle going on, in the middle of the road, between vultures/buzzards and a lone coyote. They were all very scrawny looking. The last one I saw was just four miles from home along the Interstate right-of-way. Life is tough for them too, I guess to expose themselves during the day. I can understand your concern when out walking. Take care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Emily,

      Yeah, what is it with all the coyotes?

      I suppose my reaction to coyotes seems silly to westerners. I’m not used to coming face-to-face with a predator just by walking down a paved road.

  3. Bill Kelleher says:

    You might want to think about carrying a can of wasp spray with you as they will shoot a stream about 20 feet.

    Bill Kelleher

  4. geri says:

    Perhaps the drought has decimated the smaller rodent population to the point the the food chain is drying up as much as the water sources! Hunger causes desperation!

  5. Jim Melvin says:

    Back in my snow skiing days (about 5 years ago) I was skiing by myself down this slope and noticed a coyote at the edge of the ski run. I skied past it and then looked back to see that it was chasing me. Fortunately I was a good skier and didn’t fall and was soon out of it’s range. Not sure what would have happened if I had taken a fall just then.

  6. Billy Bob says:

    Coyotes are just like any other animal of the wild. They grow accustomed to “people”. Most, if not all, coyotes you encounter around campgrounds are quite docile and harmless….at a distance. They scope out your campsite looking for handouts and food items left unattended. They will not attack humans as a quick meal. But beware if you threaten them to the point of them being defensive. They will bite.
    So now you know that humans are relatively safe around coyotes, but how about your pets? Coyotes have been known to strip a small dog right out of it leash, but this is very rare because of the human factor on the other end of the leash. They will pack up in a group of 2 or more and capture a cat running freely. Never leave a pet unattended outside after the sun has gone down.
    Remember….”they are watching you”.

  7. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Sue & crew,
    Spike sez “Let me at him!!!!!!!!” Just like ol’ BB sez, they’re just wild animals looking for a bit
    of something to eat and not an encounter with a human.. A lone coyote, unless rabid, will not
    initiate an attack on a human.. Several in a pack and starving MIGHT, but it is most unlikely…
    Now if you’re carrying a sack of hamburgers the lone one may ask for a bite of fries…
    The wasp spray is a good idea, but the cans are hard to carry.. A snub-nosed .22 with Short-rat
    shot should discourage anything within 10 yards, and won’t kill it or make much noise… Listen
    to ol’ BB as hez lived there longer than everybody but the injuns.. Be careful is the best way!!!

  8. Bob says:

    Sue and crew …

    As the sergeant used to say on “Hill Street Blues”.


  9. Bill Kelleher says:

    Is anybody else getting Sue’s answers before they get the post she is answering ?

    I got at least two today and have had others before this.

    My email program is putting the oldest one first.

    Bill Kelleher

  10. Darrell says:

    I bet it was a comforting feeling to know that pepper spray was handy, uh?

    Aren’t the dogs picking up on the coyote? It would seem they should be catching the scent, or seeing the movement to help warn you of the arrival of their distant cousins.

  11. cathieok says:

    You are lucky they don’t notice! Mine would take out like a bat out of hell after it with me dragging along behind on the leashes. Hopefully, not over too many cactus patches.

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