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Fargo woman captures life-and-death struggle in her backyard

A South Fargo woman witnessed nature's harvest. A coyote killing a deer, right out her window, and she captured it with her camera.

These photos were taken from a house on the Fargo Country Club. The photographer and owner of the home has asked to not be on camera.

The woman told us she glanced out her window Monday afternoon and noticed what she thought were two deer on a dead sprint toward her home. By the time the animals were 20 yards away; she had her camera, and realized it was a coyote hunting a deer.

She says the deer fought off the coyote for about 15 minutes, but in the end it was too much.

Doug Leier: "From a biologist standpoint, I think it's really neat to be able to see the circle of life."

Doug Leier is with North Dakota Game and Fish. He says it's not that rare for a coyote to capture and kill a deer that close to homes. He says the only thing that is uncommon is someone witnessed it.

"What's going on is that the weak are prayed upon in the predator world by the strong and the strong will survive."

Leier says throughout the U.S., it is common for coyotes to be in urban areas. They're scavengers that mostly feed on rodents, all while keeping in the shadows, away from human eyes. He says in this case, the coyote felt the reward was worth the risk of going into the open.

"When they see a weak deer, a sick deer to them, it equals something more of almost a virtual buffet where they can expend as little bit of energy for a long term pay off."

All that's left today is a pile of the deer's fur. The morning after, the kill maintenance workers with the country club came and took away the remains. They say only half the deer was left.

"Nature is violent in that circle and sometimes more violent than what people like to realize."

These are pictures from today. The coyote continues to return to the scene, wondering where its week long buffet disappeared to. For now the coyote won't be trapped or shot. It's not seen as a danger to society.