Coyotes and Tractors

August 22, 2013

Every year during late summer I mow selected fields around the farm where cedars, locusts and invasive lespedeza are encroaching. I have to time everything just right so the rabbits and ground nesting birds have had time to do their thing and the whitetail fawns are old enough to get away from the tractor as it plows through their daytime bedding areas. It would be nice to wait until fall when it is cooler but I like to nail the lespedeza before it flowers and goes to seed. It is a delicate balance but I’ve never actually injured a fawn, to my knowledge, but my agricultural operations definitely cause trouble for voles if the actions of the local coyotes are any indication.

Coyotes are so savvy to my mowing activities that they don’t even wait until the night after I have been through a field. They just listen for the sound of the tractor and hightail to my location where they either follow behind me or flank me at a safe distance. The easy pickings of agitated rodents is just too much for the wily coyotes to resist and although they are typically nocturnal, they will show up for a meal at high noon if that is when I’m mowing. As with other wildlife around the farm, coyotes aren’t too fearful of humans as long as they are on a tractor. It’s like we have a deal that all deadly interaction between our two species is suspended during mowing operations. Little do they now that they are safe from me whether I’m on a tractor or not, but it is a rare treat to get so close to such stunning mammals.


I have to admit that I’m not one of those fellas who enjoys sitting on a tractor all day. I find myself estimating how many rows it will take to finish a field as soon as I complete the border rounds. But I always look forward to seeing my coyote friends if they join me for the afternoon, hopping into the air to pounce on vulnerable voles. In this week’s post, I’m sharing an image of one of the tractor-following coyotes as it investigates a freshly-mowed field right behind our house. I’d already finished for the afternoon when this handsome varmint appeared in the soft light of late afternoon.  I thought the color of the tawny-eyed ‘yote complimented the chopped grass rather nicely.

Thanks for looking,


Coyote in Mowed Field: Canon 1D Mark IV; Canon 500/4 L IS Lens with 1.4 TC III Extender; 1/1250 @ f/5.6; ISO 400; RAW Capture; Converted and Processed in Canon DPP

Coyote Looking Back: Canon 1D Mark IV; Canon 500/4 L IS Lens with 1.4 TC III Extender; 1/1600 @ f/5.6; ISO 400; RAW Capture; Converted and Processed in Canon DPP

8 comments on “Coyotes and Tractors”

  1. Absolutely gorgeous. That sort of photo opportunity might even get me mowing though it’s probably hard to do both at the same time.

  2. The coyote in the top picture is smiling at the thought of all those easy pickin’s. Helen

  3. Beautiful! I love the eyes! I would definitely sit and watch them all day. The closest I came to one was about 100 yds away and it ran when it saw me. It is nice to see such great shots of one!

  4. Beautifully Shot Danny. Those eyes or so piercing, with the question of, when is lunch going to be ready? Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a good weekend. I am heading for the country this weekend, and maybe I will catch a glimpse of Deer, Coyotes.


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