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Missouri Hunter Shoots Young Wolf or Massive Coyote

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November 05, 2012
Missouri Hunter Shoots Young Wolf or Massive Coyote - 7

A Missouri bowhunter shot what appeared to be a massive coyote last week while deer hunting in the Franklin Island Conservation Area. But the sheer size of the animal is calling its biological identification into question.

Although the nation's largest coyote on record was 74 pounds, this male predator weighed in at a hefty 81 pounds, reports the Columbia Daily Tribune. And what's more, biologists from the Missouri Department of Conservation say the animal wasn't even fully mature.

The MDC announced in a press release that no tags or markings suggest the mystery predator was a captive animal. The MDC collected tissue samples for DNA analysis to confirm the species, which will take three to six months. MDC speculates the animal may be a wolf, but other possible identifications include a large coyote or some sort of hybrid animal.

The hunter, who asked the MDC to withhold his name, shot what he thought might be a state-record coyote around 8 a.m. on Oct. 30. Coyotes are in season in Missouri and the hunter had a license. If the animal turns out to be a coyote, it will be returned to him for mounting. If the DNA analysis confirms it's a wolf, the MDC will dispose of it.

Gray wolves haven't been native to Missouri since the late 1800s when populations succumbed to hunting and habitat loss. While the MDC reports there is no evidence of breeding populations in the state, wolves are still a protected species in Missouri.

Regional wildlife supervisor John George told the Columbia Tribune the animal might be a wolf that traveled hundreds of miles in search of new territory. A wolf was killed by a landowner in 2010 in Carroll County, and another was shot in 2002 in Grundy County. Both had wandered to the state from the northwest, George said.

What do you think? Is this mystery predator a coyote, a wolf, or some sort of hybrid? Comment below!

Comments (7)

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from DaBears wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

What if this guy is a coyote wolf hybrid? Does the hunter get to keep the coyote 1/2 and the state keeps the wolf half? ;)

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from Dcast wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

I don't think 6phunter is far off. I'm his neighbor to the north and I have seen coyotes pushing 70#'s the size of german shepards. I suspect they are probably breed with a domestic dog but coyote breed none the less. I agree totaly with him, I've seen them from the size of a fox to the size of a german shepard and have seen the two sizes mixed in the same pack. I will wait to see what DNR says.

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from 6phunter wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

I wouldn't be to quick to call it a wolf,coyotes have been having an easy time finding food here in western kentucky.I'M not sure how long it takes before the benefits begin to show up in their size.Deer hunters seem to be the main reason the population remain in check,leaving those that survive even more surplus to help them grow.When coyotes first begun to appear here they were small,not much larger than foxes,thats all changed.RECENTLY I had a pair show up under my stand,with no chance to draw I had plenty of time to study them.A CONSERVATIVE estimate of the larger animal about 60 pounds,length 5 foot.SOME PEOPLE are calling them SUPER COYOTES,they may have had some cross breeding with feral dogs a few generations back,but the look is definite coyote.In the past it was unheard of to hear stories about them challenging people,now it seems it's becoming more common.Exactly what they are ,I don't know.KENTUCKY'S laws have changed so that bowhunters can now carry hand guns for a reason,whether for protection from bears or SUPER COYOTES.

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from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

I would say that's definitely a wolf if i had to put money on it. i agree with huntfishtrap, could be a wild one(i've heard of them being killed in indiana or illinois), a lot of misinformed people think they'd make pets...problem is they're programmed to take the pack over someday..and that means kill the pack leader...

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from JM wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

-It's definitely NOT a coyote. Not sure why it was in the middle of Missouri though.
-Last year a thought to be 104 pound coyote was killed in Missouri, but it turned out to be a wolf.

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Looks like a wolf to me. Doesn't necessarily mean it was a WILD wolf though, there's a surprising number of nuts out there who think a wolf would make a cool pet, until it starts eating them out of their house.

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from MazPower wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Look at the head and ears, that's no coyote.

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from MazPower wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Look at the head and ears, that's no coyote.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Looks like a wolf to me. Doesn't necessarily mean it was a WILD wolf though, there's a surprising number of nuts out there who think a wolf would make a cool pet, until it starts eating them out of their house.

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from JM wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

-It's definitely NOT a coyote. Not sure why it was in the middle of Missouri though.
-Last year a thought to be 104 pound coyote was killed in Missouri, but it turned out to be a wolf.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

I would say that's definitely a wolf if i had to put money on it. i agree with huntfishtrap, could be a wild one(i've heard of them being killed in indiana or illinois), a lot of misinformed people think they'd make pets...problem is they're programmed to take the pack over someday..and that means kill the pack leader...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

I wouldn't be to quick to call it a wolf,coyotes have been having an easy time finding food here in western kentucky.I'M not sure how long it takes before the benefits begin to show up in their size.Deer hunters seem to be the main reason the population remain in check,leaving those that survive even more surplus to help them grow.When coyotes first begun to appear here they were small,not much larger than foxes,thats all changed.RECENTLY I had a pair show up under my stand,with no chance to draw I had plenty of time to study them.A CONSERVATIVE estimate of the larger animal about 60 pounds,length 5 foot.SOME PEOPLE are calling them SUPER COYOTES,they may have had some cross breeding with feral dogs a few generations back,but the look is definite coyote.In the past it was unheard of to hear stories about them challenging people,now it seems it's becoming more common.Exactly what they are ,I don't know.KENTUCKY'S laws have changed so that bowhunters can now carry hand guns for a reason,whether for protection from bears or SUPER COYOTES.

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from Dcast wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

I don't think 6phunter is far off. I'm his neighbor to the north and I have seen coyotes pushing 70#'s the size of german shepards. I suspect they are probably breed with a domestic dog but coyote breed none the less. I agree totaly with him, I've seen them from the size of a fox to the size of a german shepard and have seen the two sizes mixed in the same pack. I will wait to see what DNR says.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DaBears wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

What if this guy is a coyote wolf hybrid? Does the hunter get to keep the coyote 1/2 and the state keeps the wolf half? ;)

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