I photographed this coyote pup mousing in an area freshly mowed at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I have been watching four coyote pups since early summer in this area, but all but one pup seems to have left.

Young Coyote Pup's Mousing Adventure

Young Coyote Pup’s Mousing Adventure

Coyotes are known for their exceptional hunting skills, which begin with their training as pups. Mousing is one of the earliest forms of hunting that coyote pups learn, and it plays a crucial role in their development as hunters.

Mousing involves hunting small prey, such as mice or voles, and it serves as a rite of passage for young coyotes. This type of hunting helps the pups develop skills like stalking, pouncing, and catching their prey. It also helps them hone their senses, including hearing, sight, and smell, which are all critical to their success as hunters.

Witnessing a Young Coyote's Technique

Witnessing a Young Coyote’s Technique

As the pups mature, they will move on to hunting larger prey, such as rabbits and squirrels. However, mousing will always be a crucial part of their hunting repertoire, and they will continue to hunt small prey throughout their lives.

Coyote Pup Hunting Mice Or Voles

Coyote Pup Hunting Mice Or Voles

It’s amazing to witness the skills that coyote pups develop at such a young age, serving as a reminder of the incredible adaptations that animals have evolved to survive in their environments.

A Young Coyote Pup Mousing

A Young Coyote Pup Mousing

Another essential skill that coyote pups learn through mousing is the art of the pounce. Pouncing involves leaping forward with precision and accuracy to capture their prey. As they practice mousing, the pups refine their pouncing technique, ensuring a higher success rate when hunting larger prey in the future. Here is a photo I took of a young Coyote pouncing: Incredible Coyote Pounce

The area near the Sandtown parking seems to be the coyotes’ favorite place to hunt. The Johnson grass has been tall, making it difficult for me to photograph the pup. However, the refuge recently mowed a section of this field, and I managed to capture a quick photo on August 20 (One Of Four Coyote Pups). A few days later, large boulders were brought to this field, and I thought this would be the end of my sightings of this coyote pup.

On August 25th, I still spotted the coyote pup in the area. I parked my pickup on the road with my camera and lens resting on a bean bag draped over the open window. From there, I began photographing the pup, and it came close to my pickup several times.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Fujifilm X-T3
  • Lens: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM


On the first photo only:

  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: August 25, 2020 (06:30 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f5.6
  • Shutter speed: 1/680
  • ISO: 2000 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: +0.33
  • Focal Length: 400 mm