Encounter with coyote

Re. Coyotes chase, bite digs (Castanet, July 3)

I too had an altercation with a 65- to 70-pound coyote recently while visiting family in Edmonton.

We were walking through an expansive off-leash, wild-growth area at the northern limit of the city, when a beautiful coyote stepped onto the trail. My 50-pound cattle dog took off into the deep weeds after it.

My usually obedient (canine) friend disappeared for about three to four minutes. It seemed much longer before he returned looking very proud of himself. It was a deeply emotional experience for me. I believe Brew was merely trying to protect me and, possibly the larger animal ran away because he was too close to its size to bother confronting.

Even after winning a head-on fight, which I'm sure it would have been, wild animals instinctually try to avoid those confrontations because any injury they might suffer could impair their ability to hunt for prey. Their life is a struggle, even with full use of all their physical attributes, in my opinion.

Could it be the confrontation in the Wilden area of Kelowna was all about survival for the coyote, rather than an elaborate trap set by "WileE" and his pack mates? That being said, many areas in Okanagan Valley have signs that state "dogs on leash at all times" on all hiking trails, except for small 1000-square-foot fenced-in dog pens.

Is this mostly about liability concerns? Do mid- and large-sized dogs need to run through the wild forests to enjoy life to the fullest?

Like many personal decisions it comes down to risk versus reward.

Ian Skinner

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