Hiker Attacked by Rabid Coyote, Kills it With Pocket Knife
Russ Chastain 06.07.18
Jones County, Georgia – A rabid coyote relentlessly attacked a hiker in a Georgia forest, who was only able to subdue and kill the animal by using his pocket knife.
Nate’s plan was to hike for a while with a friend, and since he was about 30 minutes early, he decided to go walk a bit beforehand. He parked at the head of an established trail and hiked back down into the woods about a quarter mile before he decided to turn back and wait on his friend.
On his way back, Nate stopped at a bridge that was only 60 yards from the road.
‘I saw something moving through the woods,’ said Nate. ‘I saw what looked like a dog, but by the time it finally got out into the trail, I could clearly see it was a coyote.’
Nate said he wasn’t exactly sure what to do at first. He looked at the coyote, and the coyote looked back at him, but neither one of them made a move.
‘This isn’t good because I have never seen a coyote that close in daytime,’ said Nate. ‘Well, I’ve never seen a coyote that close period. I’m sure I’ve passed them many times in the woods, but their first inclination is to get away from you. It seemed like this one just found me out.’
Nate started to clap his hands and yell, trying to scare the coyote off so he could get back to his truck. The animal paid no attention to the noise and continued to stand in the way staring back at him. It showed no signs of aggression, but it didn’t move all the same. Nate tried clapping and yelling again but still got no reaction from the coyote.
Nate thought the animal had possibly been fed by humans and had lost its natural fear of man. He decided to pass the critter by leaving the trail and giving it a wide berth, keeping his eyes on it at all times. But he didn’t get far.
Nate began to make his way around the coyote, and he had barely taken two steps before the animal growled, lunged at him and latched onto his boot. Between slipping on the wet ground and trying to kick the animal off his boot, Nate lost his footing and hit the ground.
‘It let go of my boot and re-latched onto my shin, said Nate. That’s when it actually tore my pants and broke the skin. I was able to kick it off with my right foot though and somehow pin its head between both of my feet. That’s when I was able to get my knife out of my pocket and was able to stab it once between its shoulders and its back.’
He finished killing the male animal by cutting its throat. Police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were contacted and the critter was taken for rabies tests, which turned out to be positive. Even before getting those test results, Nate began the series of injections necessary for treating rabies in humans.
24 hours later, though, he was back in the hospital.
It turns out he had a bad reaction to the first vaccination, very similar to serum sickness. It caused his liver and kidneys to begin to shut down, resulting in multiple side effects including dehydration. After the hospital rehydrated him, Nate had to remain at the hospital so he could be monitored through the second round of vaccinations.
‘The medical follow-up has been much worse than the actual coyote bite itself,’ said Nate.
He was back at work a few days later, so it looks like he’s finally on the mend.
Thank goodness this didn’t happen in the U.K. envisioned by judge Nic Madge, who wants to ban pointed knives. And the great news here is that one more coyote is dead. They are thick in Georgia, and every kill helps a little bit to preserve native wildlife species.
In Georgia, coyotes are a non-native, invasive species and are impacting animal populations, particularly deer and turkeys. In an effort to raise awareness about the effects of coyotes during the time when deer fawns and turkey poults are being born, GON hosts a Coyote Cull in May and June.
Good thing this guy was wearing leather boots and long pants during his hike, or he could have been shredded.