Mule Deer Coyotes
YouTube:Reid Earl

Mule Deer Desperately Tries to Fight Off Attacking Coyotes

This doe fights with determination until the end.

Nature is brutal. There is no denying that, but sometimes we need a reminder of just how cruel she can be, especially when it comes to predators and prey. Coyotes are opportunistic predators and they can also be extremely determined. We see that determination on full display in this video from Utah's Antelope Island.

In it, two coyotes are terrorizing what appears to be a mule deer doe. The back-and-forth struggle goes on for nearly three minutes as the coyotes try to find a way to bring a venison dinner down.

This footage is as raw and as rough as it gets when it comes to displaying survival of the fittest.

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This was tough, but also fascinating to watch at the same time. The way the coyotes seem to take turns trying to draw the doe's attention away from the other long enough for the other to get a quick bite in. The deer's head is constantly spinning around trying to drive off attacks from both sides. Had this been a lone coyote attack, we like the doe's odds of fighting the predator off. However, with two coyotes, it was simply a matter of them wearing her down.

We did not see what proceeded this attack, but the doe must have been exhausted already. She quit trying to run and decided to stay and fight as a last-ditch effort. The smaller coyote distracts the doe's attention for just a split second, giving the larger one the opening to snag the deer by the throat. We knew once that happened, it was all over for the deer.

The video's uploader, Reid Earl, noted in the comments that he quit filming just before a third coyote came in to finish the deer off for good. Coyotes are usually solitary predators, but given an opportunity like this, they will work together.

While it may be difficult to watch a scene like this unfold, this is the brutal reality of nature. It is either eat or be eaten. Regardless of your feelings on coyotes and hunting them, these animals did exactly what they have adapted to do, hunt and kill to survive.

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For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels