There are a lot of things deer hunters expect to see in the November rut: monster bucks chasing does, early mornings and long, lonely sits in the stand.
But Mark Kenyon, who runs Wired to Hunt, saw something last week that would take any deer hunter by surprise. A few minutes after receiving a call from his buddy Josh, who said he'd just arrowed a buck, Kenyon heard what he thought was a buck chasing does in the river bottom.
That's when the action got intense.
As you can see from the video, at least three coyotes surrounded the wounded buck and began biting at it from all different angles. At one point, a coyote latched on to the buck's hind quarters and held on for a couple of seconds until the buck flipped it off.
In a state of disbelief, Kenyon quickly grabbed his bow and camera.
"In a state of shock, I watched three or four coyotes attempt to attack the buck in the middle of the creek, and eventually I realized this was the buck Josh had just shot," Kenyon told NAW. "After about 15 seconds, just as quickly as it began, the attack ended and the coyotes took off back into the brush. I sat back down, in total disbelief of what I'd just seen."
Caught off guard by the attack, Kenyon began thinking about what he'd do next.
"The buck and coyotes were about 80 to 100 yards away and behind many branches, so no additional shot opportunities were available. But if the attack had lasted any longer, I considered how I may have been able to climb down from my stand and try to sneak up to the animals and shoot the coyotes and/or end the suffering of the buck," he said. "Luckily, this wasn't needed, as the coyotes quickly realized the buck was still too much for them. Nonetheless, I was in shock as I began to process was had just happened."
Kenyon recounts the events that followed:
"I watched as the buck slowly walked off into the distance and bedded. I could see that Josh's shot was in fact a little back, but definitely a mortal wound. The entry wound was just right up and down, but a few inches farther back than I'm sure Josh wanted. Then, because of the angle of the deer and the height of Josh's treestand, I could see that the exit wound was low and back as well.
While not a perfect shot, I was really proud of Josh for keeping his cool, and putting a pretty decently placed hit on this deer. This was Josh's first deer ever with a bow, and it was also the biggest deer Josh had ever seen while hunting. I thought Josh did great considering the circumstances."
Kenyon decided to wait several hours before going in after the buck. They didn't initially find a blood trail, but the buck turned up after a search in the right direction. One of the biggest takeaways for Kenyon was the reality of the coyote problem in the U.S.
"This experience cemented for me the danger that coyotes can be to a whitetail population. If you don't think yotes are killing deer in your area, think again," Kenyon said. "When I look back, the only thing I regret is not being able to take down a few of those coyotes. I certainly would have if it was possible."
Check out the full story behind this hunt at Wired to Hunt.