I was doing a photo walk on the Sandtown trail which is located at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge. I was almost finished with the walk and I hadn’t turned my camera on during the walk, which is fine since I enjoy just walking and taking in nature sometimes. As I rounded a bend in the trail, I suddenly spotted a very large coyote walking the asphalt trail in front of me.
I immediately crouched down to the ground to keep a low profile, hoping the coyote wouldn’t see me right away. It did spot me, but I was able to get this photo of the coyote just as it was turning to leave after catching sight of me. This appears to be a female.
I really wished my photo could show just how tall this coyote was! Her height is what really stood out to me. I would estimate she was at least over 2 feet tall at the shoulder, which is huge for a coyote. Female coyotes in this area generally have a shoulder height of around 20-23 inches, so this one was exceptionally tall. She was by far the tallest coyote I have ever seen at this refuge, and I’ve been coming to this area for wildlife photography for over 16 years now.
Note: Coyotes in eastern Oklahoma typically stand about 22–25 inches tall at the shoulder. This is slightly taller than the average coyote in the United States, which stands about 20–22 inches tall. The taller height of eastern coyotes is likely due to the fact that they are larger and heavier than coyotes in other parts of the country.
The largest coyote on record was a male that weighed 75 pounds and measured 4 feet 11 inches from nose to tail.
Even though our encounter was brief, it served as a good reminder that these wild spaces are home to amazing wildlife. I feel fortunate to have been able to observe and photograph this remarkably large coyote! Stay tuned for more photos from the Sandtown trails soon.
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: July 25, 2023 (07:39A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f8
- Shutter speed: 1/800
- ISO: 20000 (Auto)
- Exp. Comp.: +0.7
- Focal Length: 500 mm