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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:53 am 
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I totally understand... It was explained to me once that if one person uses their vehicle to go around to the other side for better shots for the group there will be a new set of tire tracks which others will then follow... pretty soon you have a new trail and inevitably someone will do the same thing and you have another new trail off the new trail... pretty soon you have no more safe areas where the wildlife can find a bit of a sanctuary or solitude away from humans. They are very strict on that in Africa's parks and reserves which is a good thing no matter how annoying it is for us photographers :)

Up here in Canada most guides will still push the limits as far as animal encounters go but our parks are set up differently than those in Africa and our truly wild areas see no where near the pressure that tourism puts on these areas as it does in Africa so the rules are a lot different here. The only exception would be marine mammals as they cannot be approached any closer than 400 meters to the rear of them or to the front of them or within 100 meters of their sides but even there they have found a loophole in the regulations by observing which way they are moving and then stopping the boat in front of them and waiting for them to come to you which is totally legal.

I have gotten into more trouble over the years by not knowing the different conservation laws of different countries than I care to remember so I do my best at familiarizing myself with as many of these laws as I can around the world... jail, if even for a night, sucks in a lot of these places... nevermind the fines once they know you are a tourist. :oops:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Closest by far I have ever gotten to a coyote... this was just a few days ago. Im still looking for a better photo opp with one but these are the best results I have gotten by far to date. Got to follow him through a pasture for about 5 minutes then he went into a farmer's field... when I pulled into the driveway I got a few shots and then the farmer came out and spooked him away... bad news is I lost a good photo chance... good news is the farmer gave me permission to shoot on his land any time I feel like it... He was feeding on a dead deer when I first sited him hence the matted fur on his back and hind leg... he was litterally almost completely inside the body cavity when I first sited him about 50 meters away.

Even though I never got any pics of it I did get to watch him catch 2 mice while in the field... was cool to watch him hunting if only for a minute..

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:27 am 
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nice one Wolf, they strike me as being a bit like a larger fox. Are they opportunistic like foxes, do they handle the urban environment, ie foxes seem to have no trouble?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:25 am 
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Ive never actually seen one inside city limits but once or twice a year I hear stories about one being sited along the river bank in town. Saskatoon has done a great job keeping the river habitat intact as it runs through the downtown core. with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions there is about a 150 meter natural buffer on each side of the bank as it passes through the core of town... there is a running/walking/biking path that runs along each side of the river but that is about it.

Anyways.... they are very curious, more shy of humans but they seem to adapt pretty well to what we throw at them. I think Saskatchewan coyotes are an exception as well as it is the only place in Canada where there is still a bounty on coyotes... turn in the 4 paws and get 25 dollars :evil: ...yup.. bunch of rednecks up here... they kill about 5000 a year from what I hear.. the first year they did it over 60,000 were killed.... and they are still everywhere but as I have mentioned.. very shy and you really only see em at night after dark or at first light. I know we have at least 1 one on my 8o acres as I also have quite a few ruffed grouse on my land and quite regularly I find a grouse kill.. when I find em in the winter there are always coyote tracks leading to and away from the kill. But in almost a year now I have only got a glance of it 3 times.

They are also quite smart... up here you hear stories every few years about someone living in the country having their dog lured away by a "playful" coyote only to be lead into a trap where 1 or more other coyotes are waiting to kill the dog. These have all been secondhand stories but you hear enough of them where I now believe they are valid and a local fish and game officer confirmed it about 3 months ago while I was speeking to him.

I managed to get within 32 meters of this one but as I mentioned he was feeding on a deer at the time and it took me about 15 minutes to move from 60 meters away to 32 meters away... The closest I have gotten to one prior to this would have been 100 meters at best...

I find it a lot easier to approach foxes... lots of times they dont even seem to care you are there even when within 30 meters... but then again they dont have a bounty on their heads... everyone up here hates coyotes and I dont know a single farmer up here who doesnt shoot them regularly... sad but true.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:17 pm 
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sounds all too typical a story. They used to shoot Wedge Tail Eagles, as they were blamed for killing Lambs. But the Eagle is more or a scavenger and just got the blame.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:14 pm 
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lol so true... Whenever I think of the bald eagle as the bird and nation emblem of the USA I think to myself.. you picked a bird that on the evolutionary scale is one step away from a vulture... as in evolving into a species of vulture as is now believed to be the case.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:44 pm 
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Nice coyote shots. I've always liked coyotes, but don't see them anymore since moving from California to S. Florida - I hear they're working their way down here, but aren't yet common this far south.

My father had a 1/2 coyote, 1/2 dog as a pet, that he took in as a stray - it was a very friendly, warm animal and great pet...but that fear/distrust of humans always stayed with it - if you went to pet it too quickly, even if it knew you, it would squat down low and pee on the floor nervously. It never bit, growled, or gave any troubles, and lived to 14 years old...and got along famously with my father's 1/2 doberman, 1/2 shepherd mix.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:52 pm 
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that is awesome zack.. its the first time I have heard from someone that they had a coyote/dog mix for a pet.. I know several ppl up here who have wolf/dog mixes but never coyote

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:33 am 
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Every once in a while something will happen that shouldnt happen ending up in a cool result... rarely several things will happen consecutively none of which should have happened which culminate in a cool result .. this was one of those rare instances...

So I get a call from a friend who lives about 120km SE of me telling me he has seen some unusually large paw prints of late in the snow around his barn. He is not that much into wildlife so I took it for granted by paw prints he probably meant foot prints and it was more than likely a fox or coyote seeing paw to me means some form of cat with retractable claws... I decided to take a drive that way seeing I was bored and about 5km before his house down a grid road there was an eruption of small birds maybe 100 meters in fron of me and behind a snowbank. I drive a standard so what I always do when something like this happens is turn off the car right away and coast in hoping not to scare off whatever it may be. I had the passenger window down and the camera out the window ready for what was to come when just then there was a small gap in the snowbank and this is what I saw...

1) although we get cougar (mountain lion) sitings once every few years up here this animal is not common to here and shouldn`t be here

2) Although they are opportunistic feeders they usually do not hunt small birds (ironically this was a pine grosbeak he killed ... I had been photographing these birds on 2 outings in the past as they are a winter migrant here from the arctic) so he really shouldnt have been hunting these unless he was really hungry..

3) When in the open they are usually very shy creatures and as such are rarely seen in the open like this.

4) And lastly he should have taken off like a bolt when he spotted me yet after seeing me he made sure his kill was dead before dashing off with it...

Like I said.. lots of rare or uncommon things that really should not have happened yet they did and it resulted in this... the only thing I could have asked for was some direct sun instead of the shade and a chance to completely stop the car to reduce shake but I will take this shot any day :) I did get a few more but they all have some blur or odd angles to them as the car was still in motion during the entire burst I took.

Image

Although I have seen several cougars in the rockies before they were only fleeting glimpses at a great distance so this was definately a special moment to have gotten this close before he ran.... about 8 meters I would say

Im sure with a bit of editing I can get this pic to "pop" a bit more

On a side note it is amazing how big these cats really are when you get close to them... I now totally understand how they can take down humans so easily the odd time that it does happen.

This was also one of the rare times that the thought of getting out of my car NEVER crossed my mind :shock:

I did contact the wildlife officials and they are now looking for it to relocate it to where it belongs before some farmer shoots it.

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Last edited by Wolfsong on Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:35 am 
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Awesome!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:14 am 
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What a shot! That must have been a very special moment. 8)

Enjoyed the story behind it too. Thanks.

Just how many miles away is it from its usual territory? Hope it's located safely & found a new home.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:06 am 
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wow, awesome. That is really special, nicely done. Looking at that head and those paws there is no mistaking that for anything, but a big cat. Or should I say Mr Cat , Sir.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Although they are seen throughout north and south america these days they are found most often throughout western canada, british columbia and alberta, the western states as well as almost all of south america

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:31 pm 
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WOW that is a buck list photo for me

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Wow, amazing shot! Great work! :D
Really nice story behind it, I think you were very lucky having been able to witness such a thing, I suppose it was great 8)

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