Exclusive: How to Defend Yourself On the Run

I like to run outside for exercise. In Michigan — where seasonal temperatures can swing 100 degrees and, depending on the area, offer a plethora of wildlife encounters — this can be quite a challenge. The temperature swings are manageable with the right apparel, of course, but the wildlife… that’s another story. Our suburban home sits right on the edge of suburbia and rural horse country, so there’s plenty of opportunity to see a wide range of wildlife, even in an 80-home subdivision. In fact, several of our neighbors recently spotted a coyote making itself at home here.


Our neighborhood coyote. Photo credit: Neil W.

I have no desire to interact with the coyote and no desire to harm it, either. I hope it simply moves on and out into the more rural areas north of our home. But if it turned on me or one my family or a neighbor, I’d do whatever I could to stop it. By the way, same goes for any two-legged fiend wishing to do harm.

So here is some of the gear I carry (and tactics I use) when I run.


Gear: Running shoes

Tactic: Run!

In short, if you can get away from danger, do it. If you carry a gun, don’t think you’re somehow empowered to run toward danger. Avoid the fight if you can. For me, if I see the coyote I’m going to run away from it. I’m not saying I can outrun it. I am saying I want to avoid a confrontation if I can.


Gear: First Tactical Medium Duty Light

Tactic: Light up your way or your attacker

Carrying a tactical light even during daylight gives you the advantage of being able to openly carry and wield a strike weapon if attacked. The First Tactical Medium Light is bright and features a sharp crenelated bezel. At dusk or dawn or in the dark the light of course allows you to see and be seen.


Gear: Bond Arms Patriot

Tactic: Shoot

When I run I often carry this Bond Arms Patriot, loaded with two .410 shot shells. Yes, this gun is relatively heavy and chunky single action shooter. But even with just two .410 shot shells I can aim, fire, and, with luck, miss my target. And any shot which misses will quickly fall to the ground, harming very little beyond my target. However, if I miss with a 9mm or a .38 Special…


Gear: Pistol Wear Trump Card Concealment Holster

Tactic: Carry a gun, concealed, while running

Few holsters are made for carrying a handgun concealed while running. The Pistol Wear Trump Card, however, can do exactly that — and comfortably so. You’ll hear more about this holster in  later review but for now I’ll let you know that I managed a 3-mile run with the Bond Arms Patriot in the Trump Card, carried around my waist.

Thankfully, our neighborhood coyote was nowhere to be found.

How do you defend yourself on the run?

— Mark Kakkuri

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5 thoughts on “Exclusive: How to Defend Yourself On the Run

  1. Hans B.

    I walk in a golfing community most mornings before dawn and I too have heard about coyotes in the vicinity, yet not in the immediate area..
    All I carry is a flashlight and trust that coyotes would flee when approached by a person.
    In some areas however a simple small gun is a great comfort to have.

  2. David

    Actually, your first reaction to a Coyote or other predator (of 4 legs) should be stand your ground. Running = Prey.

    1. mark Post author

      Thanks for the insight, David. What’s the second and third part of the reaction? Slowly back away? If the coyote follows, and the person is armed, at what point is it appropriate to shoot?

  3. Joe

    Coyotes should be shot. They’re like dogs and I like dogs but if you have small dogs or cats you can’t think they’re harmless. A coyote killed one of my cats while it was napping in the sun. All that was left was a collar. It came back the next day and sat and looked at me on the other side of some thorn bushes. If I’d had a gun I’d have done more than throw a stick at it.

    1. mark Post author

      Thanks for the feedback, Joe. We’re grateful there haven’t been any incidents with this coyote. Yet. But the neighbors continue to be on the lookout…

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