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Hunter Shoots Wolf Mistaken for Coyote in Southwest Michigan

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Hunter Shoots Wolf Mistaken for Coyote in Southwest Michigan

Posted 2024-04-19  by  Stephanie Mallory

The wild canine weighed 84 pounds

A Michigan hunter shot a wolf he mistook for a coyote while hunting in Calhoun County back in January. But you can’t exactly blame him for the misidentification, as wolves aren’t supposed to be in that part of the state’s Lower Peninsula. In fact, gray wolves haven’t been spotted that far south in the state in more than a century.

According to FOX 2 , genetic testing by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the wild canine was indeed a wolf. Michigan’s existing population of wolves are almost exclusively in the Upper Peninsula. There have been only a few signs of wolves in the Lower Peninsula since they were reestablished in the state in the 1980s.

The DNR is investigating the matter, but believes the wolf was not part of a bigger pack that’s established itself in the region.

"This is an unusual case, and the DNR is actively delving into the matter to learn more about this particular animal's origin," said Brian Roell, large carnivore specialist for the DNR in a release.

In fact, FOX 2, Roell says he doesn't expect to see another wolf this far south in Michigan ever again.

"You have much better luck of getting struck by lightning than seeing one in Calhoun County again," he said.

He said there are too many people in the region and the changing landscape is not suitable to support gray wolves.

The hunter who took the wolf was accompanied by a guide for coyote hunting during the legal season. They believed they had spotted a large coyote. The wolf weighed 84 pounds, while coyotes typically weigh between 25 and 40 pounds.

More testing on the wolf will determine the age, sex, and its overall health.

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