Coyotes might be known for raiding the occasional garbage bin, but the underrated canids are more than just pesky scavengers. They're also skilled hunters who will take on just about anything they can find. This usually means rabbits, snakes, squirrels and other small prey – but one lone ranger in Maine decided to go for the gusto when it attacked a passing deer. 

Unlike the populations on North America's west coast, Eastern coyotes are known to eat quite a bit of venison – especially during the winter months. It's possible that this shift in diet has more to do with food availability than a taste for deer. The large prey are more vulnerable during the harsh winter, and tend to collide with vehicles more frequently.

While some suggest the coyotes are merely scavenging deer carcasses, hunts like this one suggest that at least on some occasions, these carnivores will take on a challenge. Onlookers who witnessed this particular standoff were surprised at the deer's vigorous defence. 

Find yourself wondering why this coyote was hunting during the day? It's actually a common misconception that these animals emerge only at night. Sightings of coyotes are most likely in the hours just after sunset, but in areas where pesky humans haven't encroached on their habitat, they'll happily roam during the day. 

Unfortunately for this hungry hunter, dinner will have to wait.


Top header image: Andy/Flickr