Man Bitten by Coyote Who Mistook Him for a Turkey

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Photo: Don DeBold (donjd2)Opening day can prove to be one full of oddities as many accidents and strange occurrences can happen as sportsmen and wildlife get back into the swing of things. And sometimes, hunters can run afoul of coyotes who are on the prowl for breakfast.

“I’ll never forget looking up and seeing a jaw full of teeth coming at me,” Bill Robinson, 39, from Maine said in an interview with Bangor Daily News.

On April 30th, Robinson was hunting turkeys with a decoy and mouth call. His sat covered in some brush on private property near the Washington County community of Cooper. There was a short, but thick spruce tree that had grown so thick that it was difficult to see past it. Ten minutes after dawn, the coyote came up from the edge of the field to stand on one side of the tree, with Robinson on the other.

“The distance involved was only about four feet,” Robinson said. “But that tree was so thick that he couldn’t see me, and I couldn’t see him. He was determined to have turkey for breakfast and was also determined that the sound he heard was a hen turkey.”

The coyote came in at a high angle so that his prey wouldn’t have the chance to fly away. It bit Robinson on the upper arm so fiercely that it punctured skin through four layers of clothing; a heavy jacket, sweatshirt, long sleeve shirt and t-shirt. Robinson took off his layers to reveal two holes in each arm that burned and bled.

But the coyote was just as shocked that it encountered a human as Robinson was that he just got stalked by a coyote, that the beast sprinted away across the field at “100 miles an hour.”

“I took a shot at it, but it was too far off by then. I turned it around for a second when I hit him in the haunch with a few pellets from my turkey load, just to say goodbye,” Robinson said.

He packed up immediately and headed to his friend’s house, a game warden, where the men took pictures of the wound before Robinson was coaxed into seeking medical help. He has received seven vaccine injections for rabies since the incident.

“I don’t blame the coyote. It was doing what coyotes do, hunting. My guess is that coyote was perfectly healthy and was not rabid. He was big, probably 50 pounds. I’m just glad it didn’t grab my neck.”

Robinson’s friend said that was the first time he has witnessed something like this. For the most part, coyotes run off when they realize a hunter is making the turkey calls. This just proves what a good turkey call Robinson has.