In field behind my house we came upon these tracks telling a story to us. My interpretation of that story is as follows.
A female Coyote, by the size of her tracks, used my old tracks in the deep snow as she crossed the field. Both canines and felines often use old prints and trails to make walking in the snow easier, always looking for efficiency in use of calories. Upon hearing or smelling something under the snow she varied from her path, walking slowly toward the source of the sound.
This is the direct registering walk just preceding the attack.
Just before the large disturbance of the attack she hesitates probably more than once as shown by the mis-regestering tracks. Then she moves right for the initial pounce, stomping and lunging at what was probably a vole under the snow.
She then followed the little rodent as it moved under the snow to the upper left of this picture and pounced again. I imagine at this point she was either successful or gave up because from here she walks away speeding up into an overstep walk, pictured below that signifies a brisk pace where the hind feet surpass where the front feet have just stepped. You can see this below, the hind feet are the smaller ones just ahead of the larger front track.
Finally she walks away using an old trotting trail of a coyote, possibly her own, made when the snow was softer. It is possible that this is a Red Fox trail, it falls within the overlap of measurements between Red Fox and Coyote. The tracks don’t look like Fox tracks, they are on the tight side like Coyotes and seemed to lack the evidence of the hairy paws of a Fox. I have not tracked many Fox and in a desire to do so I keep trying to see Fox in Coyote tracks when really it is pretty clear these are Coyote.