Big whitetail deer
Getty, Steve Oehlenshlager

Watch: Coyote vs Whitetail Buck—Who Wins?

This buck was not having any of that coyote's nonsense.

The hierarchy of wildlife generally follows the food chain: Predator eats prey. Therefore, the predator has the control of most situations. But this great video throws that concept for a loop: In this case, when a whitetail deer and hungry coyote get into an altercation, it's the deer that seems to come out on top.

The video opens with a wide-open view of a healthy, young, whitetail buck feeding at a mineral lick when a coyote appears on the far upper left of the screen. He's hopping through the forest on his way to where the deer stands.

The buck notices him but at first minds his own business. When it's clear that the coyote is heading in, the buck rallies to attention and meets the coyote head-on.

The opportunistic predator appears to try and get an angle on the young buck, who isn't having any of this. The deer chases the coyote out of the frame. The footage follows along as the buck and coyote run circles around each other, with the deer chasing the coyote, and not vice versa. At the end of the confrontation, no blood is shed.


This video shows exactly why coyotes tend to favor picking off fawns or injured adult deer. Healthy whitetails, especially this buck, will put up a fight when a predator tries to make a move. In this case, the coyote figured out rather quickly he was outmatched here. The buck probably had at least a hundred pounds on the coyote. That's not a winning battle for a solo predator.

That's not to say that coyotes don't take down adult deer. It does happen, but it usually doesn't happen easily. Whitetails are tough animals and we're probably going to trust them more to take care of themselves after seeing a video like this. What a cool thing to capture on camera. We're just glad they decided to share the footage with the world!

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