Perfect Pounce

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Tech Info:

  • Camera: NIKON D4
  • Lens: 600.0 mm f/4.0
  • Focal Length: 850mm
  • Shutter: 1/3200 sec
  • ISO: 1000
  • Aperture: F/6.3

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This Photo's ID: 4884

Field Notes Print Info

This image was taken about 1/10th of a second before my other image, Death From Above. So, it’s the same story:

I really love coyotes. I know, not everyone is a fan, but I can’t help it – they’re one of my favorite animals.

I think the reason for this favoritism might stem from my admiration of the aerial pounce they sometimes use when pursuing prey. Their approach is decidedly cat-like in its execution and incredibly graceful to watch. For example…

I discovered this coyote while driving through Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley after a late lunch. I spotted him and excitedly pulled over, hoping he’d find it in his heart to cooperate with us for a bit. I had hopes of getting a few nice “posed” shots of him majestically surveying the meadow – little did I know what was in store.

As we approached he stopped and stared very intently on a small area of vegetation – no doubt a mouse had tried to scurry away but waited too long to make his move. The coyote crouched down, cat-like, gave a slight wag with his entire body, and sprang into the air. The pounce was flawless as he fell upon on his prey and came up with a meal.

He was a pouncer!!

Now I was excited. Not all coyotes are pouncers, many just sneak up and snag from behind in a hurried, brute fashion that’s anything but graceful – but this particular ‘yote seemed to favor a dramatic leap to catch his dinner. The first pounce was a bit too far out for a good photo, but I knew if I could get closer I might have a shot.

Sure enough, he allowed a closer approach and I was able to secure several really solid pounce photos. This is one of my favorites – he wasn’t too far away and he’s completely horizontal a split second before the kill. This particular pounce actually yielded two photos – the one above and one I’ll post down the road. Oh, and yes, he did manage to snag a mouse on this pounce too – he actually only missed his mark once out of five tries. Probably the reason he was such an impressive looking animal.

All in all we only spent about 20 minutes with this guy, but it was probably one of the most productive 20 minutes of my wildlife photography career.

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I currently sell individual prints only. Each image is custom printed in house by me on our commercial grade inkjet printer. Each print is individually inspected and carefully packaged for shipment.

Please note that if you'd like another type of print (canvas for example) or another frame style, we can certainly accommodate you, just use the contact us page and we'll customize the artwork to make it perfect for your home.

(Note - we are no longer offering framed prints. The potential for damage in transit was very high and the shipping for large framed prints was outrageous, sometimes costing over $100 for larger pieces. Additionally, we've found our clients seem happier when they can work with their own local framing shop.)


Our framed prints are guaranteed for as long as you own them against wear, fading, or deterioration. Loose prints are also guaranteed for as long as you own them provided you have them framed under glass using archival materials. We want you to LOVE your prints, so we offer a refund as long as the print or framed print is returned in like new condition within 30 days.


All prints have a signature in the corner, usually the lower right hand when possible.


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We are now offering quantity discounts if you are interested in two or more pieces. Simply contact me with the sizes and names of the images you are interested in and I will be happy to get you a quote. The more pieces you order, the better the discount.

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2 Responses to Perfect Pounce

  1. Pam Nicholson says:

    What a great shot. You were very fortunate that the coyote was not fearful or apprehensive of your presence which allowed you to get some wonderful pictures.

  2. Carol Ray says:

    Love this photo. You were certainly in the right place at the right time.
    I live in San Bernarino COunty near Colton and we still have wild coyotes here. Hear them calling each other in the night time. Good sound. Gets all the cats to come home too ! LOL !
    Carol Ray

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