CORNER BROOK — Stephen Caravan holds a licence to kill coyotes, but the one he bagged Tuesday morning was quite unexpected.
Caravan was on his way to his job of clearing snow for a local company around 4:30 a.m. when he suddenly came upon the animal in the middle of the north shore highway in the stretch of road between the communities of Summerside and Irishtown.
Driving in the stormy whiteout conditions, Caravan didn't have enough time to avoid running over the wild canine.
“I went through a snow squall and the coyote was right there in the middle of the road,” he said. “I couldn’t stop or get around it and it was either go in the ditch or into the guardrail, so the coyote was the one who got it.”
Caravan said there was a steep hill on one side and a steep cliff on the other, so the animal didn’t have many options either.
He got out to check on the coyote. It was still alive, but clearly seriously injured.
“Not thinking at first, I ran over to it,” he said. “Then I thought, this is a coyote that is injured, so I stepped back a little bit.”
The nasty weather conditions posed another potential hazard. Caravan said visibility remained good enough for him to wait to make sure the coyote was dead before he loaded it into his truck and brought the carcass to the local wildlife office.
“It was quite a big animal,” he said. “I figure it weighed about 50 pounds. I didn’t want to leave it there for someone in a small car or anyone else to run into.”
Caravan has seen plenty of wildlife in his early morning runs from his home in Summerside to work in Corner Brook. This was the first time he has seen a coyote.
The fact such a large specimen was in an area populated with small children and pets was a bit startling for him.
“I think we’re fortunate to have it out of the community,” he said.