AUGUSTA — David Trahan, the new executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, said coyotes here do hunt deer in packs.
Two years ago, while deer hunting from a stand in November in the Mid-Coast area, Trahan said he saw two packs of coyotes working a deer toward where he was hidden.
“There were actually two different groups of coyotes that were pushing this deer,” he said.
“When I was sitting in my stand, I heard them. They were yipping and howling and making an awful racket.”
He said the two groups of coyotes were in two areas of an open marsh.
“They happened to converge near me and pushed the deer right by me,” Trahan said.
“I chose to go after the coyotes rather than the deer and ended up firing eight shots, shooting three coyotes, and that is something you don’t always experience in the outdoors.”
“I was pretty startled by the whole thing,” he said. “It was not a pleasant experience, to be honest with you.”
He said he believes he took out one of the adults, disorienting others, because there were yearling coyotes in the packs.
“It all probably happened a lot quicker than it seemed at the time,” he said. “It was just instinctual more than anything, but I certainly felt bad for the deer.”
A friend, Mike Sproul of Waldaboro, soon joined him to retrieve the coyote carcasses. By then it was dark and several angry coyotes still lingered.
“We were pretty shocked that there were that many coyotes and their aggressiveness” at pursuing the deer, Trahan said.
“There were still coyotes there yipping and howling and the guy that was with me got quite spooked,” he said.
“It was a pretty eerie sound to be pitch dark and coyotes right close by who were not very happy with what you’ve done.”
What made it more disturbing, he said, was that neither he nor Sproul had any ammunition.
“I shot the eight shells that I had, so I had an empty gun,” Trahan said.
“But I’m not afraid of coyotes. I don’t think they want to be around you any more than you want to be around them.”
“So that part of it didn’t bother me, but I felt bad for the deer because I knew they were going to revisit that deer later in the future,” he said.
“I guess that’s nature’s way, but it certainly isn’t a very pleasant experience.
“It certainly was an eye-opening experience,” Trahan said. “I’d never really seen something like that and I was quite shaken by it.”