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Illinois hunting and fishing

Three wolves in Illinois in 2010?

March 18, 2010 at 10:44 AM

This has already been an unusually busy year for wolf watchers in Illinois.

Since January, at least three credible reports of large canines have surfaced out of northern Illinois.

Closest to home was a shiny-toothed rascal shot near Walnut in Bureau County last week by a coyote hunter. Though details are sketchy and genetic testing has not been conducted, that may well be the sixth wild wolf confirmed in Illinois and the second this year.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Another large, wolf-like canine was shot near Big Rock in northern Illinois in January according to Bob Bluett, furbearer biologist for the Department of Natural Resources. “It was taller than the guy when it was hanging from its hind feet,” Bluett said.

And just this week Bob Coine of Oregon came forward with a trail-camera picture taken on March 9 that appears to show a live wolf walking along the edge of a corn field.

“A picture doesn’t tell the whole story, but it’s sure a whopping good candidate,” Bluett said.

Beyond reports that include some proof are a rash of recent sightings from near Tiskilwa, Toulon and elsewhere.

Is Illinois suddenly overrun with canis lupus? Will the soulful howls of timber wolves become commonplace in the Prairie State?

“It’s hard to tell a wolf from a coyote at 150 yards. If somebody comes clean, it’s been my perception that (federal investigators) can accept the fact a mistake was made,” Bluett said. “But it somebody starts shipping hides and doing other stuff, they get in a corner as to how much they can follow federal rules for endangered species and where that line is.”

Most biologists believe wolf numbers in Illinois are very low. That view may change if somebody turns in a female wolf or some young pups.

But late winter is prime time for young male wolves to get booted from their pack and to wander.  Those are the wolves we’ve seen in Illinois, whose wanderings prove the journey from Wisconsin is very doable for a four-legged canine looking for love.

The first confirmed wild wolf in Illinois was shot on Dec. 29, 2002 by Randy Worker in Marshall County. I still remember fielding that call and thinking, “No way is this a wolf.”

Since then we’ve had three other wolves killed in Illinois and a handful dispatched in neighboring states. That’s why I’m now quicker to believe callers who cry wolf. Actually, I’m surprised when a year passes without a dead wolf.

Then again, barring changes in federal status, wolf reports may dry up in the future. More hunters are aware it is illegal to shoot wolves in Illinois, since the canines are protected as both a federal and state endangered species. I bet a handful of timber wolves had already bit the dust in recent years without so much as a mention.

That’s true even though wolf shooters typically go unpunished in Illinois. “It’s hard to tell a wolf from a coyote at 150 yards,” Bluett said. “If somebody comes clean, it’s been my perception that (federal investigators) can accept the fact a mistake was made.”

Beyond concerns about repercussions, wolves are starting to create other worries.

Coine fears for personal safety. “I am genuinely concerned,” he said. “I’ve spent time in wolf country in Alaska, the Arctic and Canada. Wolves are predators and there are certain things that trigger them to attack.”

Others says top-line predators could put even more pressure on the Illinois deer herd.

Personally I see both concerns as an overreaction given the current status — even in the wake of news that a jogger was apparently killed by two wolves in Alaska this week.

In my mind, while there is limited suitable wolf habitat in parts of Illinois, there are too many people, cars and roads for the big predators to last very long.

Then again, as Bluett notes, “I think (wolves) have proven to be a lot more adaptable than people once thought.”

A lot more widespread in Illinois this year, too.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I TOLD YOU THEY WILL THRIVE!!!

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 03/18 at 11:12 AM

After following the previous wolf article and reading all of the comments, I refrained from making my own statements. I think everyone made good points on both sides and it was worth sitting back and reading it all. I now want to add some information regarding the wolf that I have had personal experiences with.
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I saw a wolf while hunting in Illinois last year but didn’t mention it to anyone except my family, primarily because everyone thinks you’re nuts if they don’t happen to share the same experience as your own. I was hunting in central IL. and couldn’t believe my eyes when a wolf came through the timber and locked on a scent trail EXACTLY where some deer had previously moved through about 2 hours before. That same wolf was back the next week doing the same thing! It chased and ran several deer through the timber and completely disrupted everything around it. In fact, the birds stopped singing and making noise for about 30 minutes after. All of the wildlife in the vicinity was completely aware of the situation, which made hunting those days fruitless.
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What bother me is the fact that this wolf LOCKED IN on the deer scent NOW! It was evident that he had a taste of venison and would continue to hunt deer every time he’s hungry. Our deer are already pressured enough and dwindling without the help from another predator.
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If anyone thinks wolves are these cute lovable animals, think again. I watched a pack of wolves seek and destroy a male coyote in Yellowstone only to leave it there after it was killed. They then turned on the female coyote but was unable to catch her. Coyotes mate for life. Wolves kill for the sport, kill for territory and for food. I’m not an advocate for having them in Illinois either.
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Now on the other hand, I think they are beautiful creatures and can see and understand why some people would want them to return. I for one, would enjoy seeing the black bear return and feel there would be no need to kill one here if spotted. Anyone with children should be concerned, even if the chances are slim, if the wolf returns to Illinois. After watching them in action up close, I wouldn’t want them anywhere around me. I made sure I waited a long time before I walked out of the timber the last time I saw a wolf chasing a deer as I was on the ground and the wolf was hungry!
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Just my 2 cents! I respect countering arguments!

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/18 at 12:52 PM

If 3 have been confirmed, 2 of which were killed….you have to wonder how many others are killed and not reported.  I’d be scared to death if I thought I shot a coyote and realized it was a wolf.  Honestly I’m not sure what I’d do.  Being it’s federally protected I’m not 100% sure I’d just turn myself in for an honest mistake that could literally cost me everything I own.  I’d talk to an attorney before even considering it!  I’d like the DNR to make an announcement as to what we are supposed to do in this instance.  I’d like to think I’d turn myself in, but it would greatly depend on what my attorney thought my punishment would be.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 01:46 PM

Yes. Big Rock in northern Illinois.

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 03/18 at 02:14 PM

“It’s hard to tell a wolf from a coyote at 150 yards. If somebody comes clean, it’s been my perception that (federal investigators) can accept the fact a mistake was made,” Bluett said.”

I am willing to bet that the Federal Agents are not to happy with Mr. Bluett right now. A state biologist basically saying any shooting over 150 yards will be an good shoot and saying ahead of time what the feds will or will not do. Stay tuned boys and girls this could get interesting since the Illinois DNR has not exactly been on the feds preferred customer list. This is like a town cop saying what the FBI is going to do…............

Looks like Mr. Bluett will be the first person subpoenaed as a witness for the defense if the feds ever do charge someone for shooting a wolf in Illinois. But then again I wonder how much value as a defense witness he would have if he can not tell a 35 pound coyote from a 140 pound wolf at 150 yards. (Hint…........... at 150 yards, the 140 pounder fills the scope, the 35 pounder does not)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 04:38 PM

I hope people will not start shooting these magnificent creatures. I for one hope this time that the Feds. actually do the right thing for once and go after people who shoot these animals for no other reason than because they can. I understand self defense and the protection of livestock and property but i don’t understand how you can mistake a 140 lb. wolf with a 35 lb. coyote and if u do well then i think u should go get some hunter education…..

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 05:00 PM

send these scum bags to jail .

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 05:40 PM

Normally, I refrain from such talk, but for DNR to have an employee that basically gives the green light to kill endangered species and then provide an excuse for how to get away with it…well, Director Miller, you should take notice.  It’s reprehensible.  And the excuse is so damn lame…I couldn’t tell it wasn’t a coyote though my scope.  Bullshit!

Let me repeat…Killing an endangered species is a federal crime punishable by a maximum fine of $100,000 and one year in prison.  Maybe you think they deserve to die and maybe you think you are entitled to pull the trigger because the opportunity presented itself and, hell, you might just get away with it.

Think again.  If the USFWS allows the killing of wolves in Illinois without consequences, they might as well throw the ESA in the trash…everything is fair game…if they won’t enforce ESA in Illinois, how can they enforce it anywhere and for any species?

But, hey, I understand…this is Illinois, home of the Slack-Jawed Yokel.  All we care about are deer, killing anything else that moves and thumbing our noses at the federal government and federal law.
I mock you in the USFWS.  USFWS, you are weak.  The USFWS has no power in Illinois.  We own the woods and you girlie-men in the USFWS are just a bunch of pussies.  Try and stop us.  I dare you.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 05:56 PM

more targets…lol…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 06:14 PM

There are 70,000 wolves in North America, they are not endangered.  Take them off the endangered species list and turn over their management to the states.  Then IL can decide how best to handle the issue with no concern for the inept feds.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 06:20 PM

HMM Probbly got here the same way the coyote Did

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 07:02 PM

Less than 3000 wolves however live in the lower 48.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 07:02 PM

I dunno but im gettin sick of cant do this ,dont do that, no smoking ,no sugar in schools ,no this no that, cant fish here, cant keep this ,cant shoot over there ,W.T.F. isnt this America ? HOME OF THE FREE ?

Posted by trolloni on 03/18 at 07:04 PM

I guess my count is off, my apoligies, you can add a few thousand more to that. Most are in Alaska and Canada, but there could be as many as 2000? in the few western states where wolves are found. My point and then I have said my last. While I do not doubt that there have been sightings of wolves in Illinois I just do not think that the state could support evn one pack, especially due to their wide roaming territories. Too many guns in the woods as well. And I agree that if wolves are said not to inhabitat our state by DNR athorities then how could anyone be held responsible by mistaking a coyote for a wolf even if they know (and should know) what they are shooting at. And I do agree with Aj, let the state have management and take it from there.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 07:30 PM

Kwright - you should change your user name to Kwrong.

Seriously - dont you get tired of being wrong?

Try 5797 and that is what the Feds say, so in the real world where I live, it is more like 9000.

http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/aboutwolves/popandrange.htm


How is that study about wolves not being responsible for the decline of the elk herds in Yellowstone coming?  I really want to read that one.  Thanks…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 07:31 PM

Take care Kwright…I am sure not wrong about everything, just a little off on some of this wolf stuff.  You came around a bit on that last post.  smile

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 07:37 PM

I can easily see how a mistake could happen.  I’m a novice coyote hunter.  When I call one in, I have the gun ready and as soon as I get an opportunity I shoot.  The possibility that it would/could be a wolf would be the last thing on my mind…..up until now at least.  They come in and leave so quick I’m really not sure if I’d have the opportunity to truely judge them based on size.

Now if your in an area where you might expect to see a wolf, then I can see it being easier to judge because you know it’s a good possiblity.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 08:51 PM

I can’t see anyone going to jail for shooting a wolf in Illinois.  The state is about to let 10,000 non violent criminals out of jail early to save money.  I don’t think the feds would want to spend the money either.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/18 at 11:50 PM

Seriously people wolves will not take over the state, eat all your children and pets and then come after you. A few wolves have been spotted so now we are facing an apocalypse here in the state and with the deer herd.
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Relax they have to eat and since Illinois is almost out of deer from what I read on here they won’t stick around long. The fact is wolves and other predators have lived for thousands of years with their prey and not driven them to extinction. Do they kill some animals? Sure they do. Is it pretty when they do it? Nope This is the way nature works. I sometimes think some people on here have convinced themselves deer don’t feel the arrow or bullet,therefore we kill humainly, well I got news for you all they do and since headshots are deemed unethical and usualy impractical there is no way around it. Again one can not take a predator role and not inflict pain on its prey. 
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Yes wolves kill coyotes and probably don’t eat them does that mean it just killed for sport? If so how many here that walk on water yote hunt and don’t eat em or I’m sure we all know at least one deer hunter that does not like eating deer. Makes me wonder if the one that was shot in January ended up on the dinner table yet or was it just shot for sport. The reality is wolves kill yotes for territory and to reduce competition. Might be nice to have a few less coyotes around, might start seeing more small game in the state.
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Here you go for some of the studdies on yellow stone http://www.spokesmanreview.com/tools/story_pf.asp?ID=39387
Intersting that bears seem to be killing more than wolves, oh and upon a little more research wolves seem to be opportunists and will kill when not hungry if its easy to come back later and eat.
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Honestly if you have seen one I’d consider yourself lucky to have witnessed a magnificant animal that is not common place in the state,which is exactly what anyone that loves the outdoors would do, sadley though I don’t think there are many left that do truly enjoy the outdoors these days, its all about bone hunting nothing else matters.
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Now about federal charges I can only say you have to be kidding, how can someone be charged for killing an animal that does not exist in the state? To even think they could/would makes me want to warm up the motor of the short bus.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 06:05 AM

There may or may not be a place for wolves in Illinois. But as a federally-protected species, it is not our duty to decide that with guns. We don’t know how many more sightings/killings it will take before the USFWS pressures the DNR to do anything about the protection of wolves in IL. Coyote hunters can only play the “intent” card for so long. But as it stands now, it is premature to have this fear of wolves in Illinois when there are so many other *real* concerns out there. It is apparent that some of us sportsmen/women have abandoned our long-standing virtue as being conservationists (or we just don’t care). Some of us simply don’t care about anything other than ungulates.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 07:15 AM

I am sure the numbers are higher than the state knows.  Like stated above, no one is going to advertise one being shot because of fear or prosecution. Same goes for cougars, I am sure the numbers are a lot higher than anyone knows.  A cattle, sheep or whatever farmer will shoot anything they feel is a danger to their herd and know one will ever know. 

The increase of wolf populations has made a impact on elk in the west.  At least thats what I see on TV all the time and I am not talking about just the hunting shows.  In wolf populated areas, elk are not as vocal during rut for fear of letting the wolves know where they are.  Which is impacting breading.  Its just like turkey hunting in a highly populated coyote or bobcat area.  They will be vocal in the trees, but once they hit the ground, not so much.

oh ya, a 140 wolf can easily be confused for a 35 pound coyote at long distances.  Especially at night, dusk and dawn hunting when its not that easy to see even with a scope.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 07:25 AM

Legal or not… I couldn’t shoot one.  Same thing with a bobcat or a cougar.  I think they’re gorgeous animals and hope someday to see one while I’m out hunting or fishing.  I don’t hold coyotes in the same high regard.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 07:27 AM

Well said ShelbyHuntr. I always wonder about guys who try to claim the conservationist tag simply because they bought a hunting license. But the minute any animal competes with them for an animal he pursues it needs to go. Otter eats a fish out of the pond- time to go. Bobcat eats the squirrels- time to go. Osprey eats a bass- time to go. Fox eats a rabbit- time to go. Hawk eats a quail- time to go. Coyote eats anything, even gut piles- time to go. Will expelled male wolves continue to show up throuhout the central midwest? I think the answer is definitely. Will breeding populations and resulting packs be established in the same area? Highly unlikely. I am more afraid of people in the woods takeing “sound shots” and “moveing bush shots” protecting themselves from “wolves”, than I am of wolves.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 07:40 AM

Cougs, I can’t help but to think your comments were directly in response to my post, so I want to add some things.
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A wolf raised in captivity and then released into the wild will react differently than a wild wolf who has wandered in from another state that was born in the wild. No, it’s not doomsday but there is some validity to the fears or there wouldn’t be any. Ask any farmers out west how they feel about the wolf. They can tell you from experience that these animals are troublesome. Here in the Midwest, our ground isn’t sculptured like the wild west nor is it like it was over 100 years ago. We are a higher populated state than it was when the wolf roamed naturally. Wolves are bold and will attack in any conditions, day or night. Coyotes won’t show there faces (under most scenarios)in the day and will attempt to stay hidden. As far as the “bone hunting”, that’s not a fair statement either. Yes, antler hunting has gotten out of control, no doubt about it but what about the other hunters? The mushroom hunters, coon hunters, etc? Illinois doesn’t support the kind of cover the western states do and the competition will effect the way we enjoy the outdoors…in my opinion.
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One example on how one specie can disturb the quality time in the outdoors is the Oriental Elm Beetle! Some genius brought them over to help control insects and now that’s all we have are THESE insects! No natural predator to eat them and as to date, I’m not aware of any insecticide that will kill them. Each October it is nearly impossible where I live to enjoy the outdoors when the sun comes out because of these doggone bugs! They bite, spew fluid all over you, etc. They don’t belong here. I’m not sure the wolf does anymore either.
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I do agree, it really would be neat to see them in the wild and they are beautiful animals but I’m not convinced they belong here. They are extremely unpredictable when encountered in the wild, the farmers out west have shared there experiences with us and they totally disturb the wildlife in their vicinity. I believe they will change the behavior of ALL Illinois’ wildlife, not just the big bucks.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/19 at 08:12 AM

Marc-Wolves only disturb wildlife from the perspective of human beings.  What you’re saying is almost to suggest that we humans have no impact on the behavior of a species.  Sure, just look at how deer change their behavior once hunting season opens.  Oh, I forgot, we shouldn’t have wolves here because they would compete against us for deer….and antlers.  My mistake.  BTW, I saw three bald eagles over my wetland just yesterday.  I’m sure they were sizing up the ducks because I’ve found evidence of their previous kills.  Guess that gives me the right shoot them on sight.  After all, there are plenty of eagles in Canada and out west.  Who needs them here?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 08:27 AM

Spoon River, settle down a bit. You actually made one of my points! Yes, humans DO have impact on the behavior of species which is why I stated above that Illinois isn’t like it was when the wolves were here 100+ years ago. Things have changed. As far as the antlers comments, I addressed that issue above. It ISN’T just about the antlers, it involves EVERYONE in the outdoors. If you want to make a valid point, please do so but please don’t try to make this a “antler issue” because it isn’t . If you have an agenda, lets here it but trying to stir the pot against deer hunters who hunt racks is unfair. If you have a beef with antler hunters then start a new thread somewhere but this issue is about the wolves sharing the same habitat with all Illinois species and people.
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Where did I say everyone needs to shoot them on sight? I didn’t. Lets hear what you have to say but please refrain from fabricating issues.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/19 at 08:47 AM

Marc Anthony said

“I saw a wolf while hunting in Illinois last year but didn’t mention it to anyone except my family, primarily because everyone thinks you’re nuts if they don’t happen to share the same experience as your own. I was hunting in central IL.”


Marc - I too live in central IL. About 3 years ago I saw 2 very large canine that were much too large to be coyotes. Shoot me an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) ...... I would find it interesting to see if you are in my same area???

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 09:00 AM

cougs said:

“Relax they have to eat and since Illinois is almost out of deer from what I read on here they won’t stick around long. The fact is wolves and other predators have lived for thousands of years with their prey and not driven them to extinction. Do they kill some animals? Sure they do. Is it pretty when they do it? Nope This is the way nature works. I sometimes think some people on here have convinced themselves deer don’t feel the arrow or bullet,therefore we kill humainly, well I got news for you all they do and since headshots are deemed unethical and usualy impractical there is no way around it. Again one can not take a predator role and not inflict pain on its prey.”

Cougs you make some good points but I must disagree with a couple. you say “The fact is wolves and other predators have lived for thousands of years with their prey and not driven them to extinction.” I must contend that while wolves have coexisted with their prey for much more than thousands of years, there is a fairly new variable that has been introduced to the equation. That variable is us, the human presence in N America over the last couple hundred years. At first our presence proved very, very detremental to wolves however with conservation and protection efforts over the recent years, wolves have begun to flourish again. The point I’m getting at is that to simply state that in the time that wolves have been on this continent they have been able to coexist without wiping out their prey is simplifing the situation. Now that their are man’t prereq’s for hunters in regards to wolves it sincerely changes the balance of power in terms of the predator v. prey relationship. Take WI,MN and MI as an example. Does Man hunt deer in these states? Yes, quiet fanatically (strike 1 against deer). Are the newly introduced wolf packs in these states killing deer and making hunting in their range area tough to impossible? Yes, ask any hunter in the for mentioned pack ranges (strike 2 against deer). Finally, in contrast to the earlier years, are hunters allowed to hunt wolves in these states right now? No, the wolf has no natural predator in these states, effectively putting them at the top of the food chain (strike 3 against the deer herd). Honestly, get on any hunting forum and you will find discussion threads about the wolves in our northern neigboring states. There is no happy ending to any of these stories and a lot of these guys are simply seeing NO deer where there are wolves. Now, I dont know about WI,MN,MI but deer hunting sure brings ALOT of revenue to our state. While this is hypothetical, would you be willing to risk jeapordizing that for the federally protected wolf? Because, as many hunters up north are finding, if they become established in your area, there really isnt much you can do other than wave goodbye to the deer that were once in your woods.

I mean no disrespect with this. I just think that considerations have to be taken for the impact that the regs the DNR and fed agencies will/are having on established wolf pop’s.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 09:19 AM

Also, just looking at that trailcam pic. Doesnt the tail almost look too bushy (like a yotes) to be a wolf? I would be interesting to know how far the canine was from the camerea and how high the camera was set.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 09:21 AM

Hey Cougs - Thanks for the article form 2004, very helpful.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 10:05 AM

To say that a “mistake” can’t or shouldn’t happen is just not being honest.  Hve you ever gone bear hunting?  At 20 yards is difficult for a hunter to tell if the bear is 200 or 350 pounds.  Haven’t you ever shot a nice buck at 20 yards and experienced ground shrinkage?  If a coyote hunter sees what he thinks is a coyote with that coyote/wolf gait and he knows he’s hunting in a state without wolves, shooting the coyote/wolf is completely understandable.  When someone makes an honest mistake, throw them in jail and fine them $100,000?  Are you kidding me?  Not everyone who makes a mistake deserves a fine and jail time.  I for one have seen a couple coyotes, one this past deer season, that was twice the size of a normal coyote.  This thing had to be 70 pounds….my best guess anyway.  Now if someone sees a 70 yote through his scope, do you really expect him to know the difference between 70 and 100 pounds without a field reference?  I’d like to think that I would know the difference, but not giving wolves one single thought while hunting in Illinois, my decision process would more likey be dog or coyote…..not wolf or coyote.  I have never made a mistake like that while hunting, but I’d like to think I wouldn’t be fined and jailed for admitting my mistake and fessing up.  I did see a wolf recently in Knox County, and knowing what I now know, I’ll think twice before I take a shot at a coyote.  However, before the day I saw the wolf, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have made that mistake.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 10:47 AM

@ JRH…..the trail cam photo is most definately a wolf.  Look at the face, neck, long legs, and the 30 extra pounds it has over the biggest yote ever killed.  It’s without a doubt a wolf.  On to the one that was killed…a 140 pound wolf is not a young male wolf that is roaming.

For all the pro-wolf posters that we’ve had on this topic, you guys keep them in your areas.  I like to look at a wolf just as much as the next guy, but there is a place for these animals and it is not in IL.  The open wilderness of Alaska and Canada is where they belong.  By far the most ignorant thing I have seen the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service do was to reintroduce these animals back into the states.  Give it time and you will see just how destructive these animals are.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 10:48 AM

Oh, and by the way.  If the picture at the top of this story is that trail camera picture of a suspected wolf, I think that looks like coyote all day.  I don’t think there’s a chance that thing’s a wolf.  Look at the narrow snout.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 11:00 AM

That picture at the top is no way a coyote.  Just compare the body to the siding on the barn.  Those ribs are usually 12 inches apart, but sometimes 8.  Anyway from butt to nose, that thing is at least 5 to 6 feet long.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 12:18 PM

I just saw the trail cam pic, sorry.  Thought you were talking about the one that was shot.  Still think the trail cam is a wolf.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 12:20 PM

Matt, at first glance I agree but its hard to say without anything as a point of reference in the pic. the tail just looks more yote to me but i’m an amateur when it comes to yote hunting so my opinion is far from expert

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 12:56 PM

The snout is too thick to be a coyote.  The legs are way too long.  The tail is consistent with a wolf.  And look at the body thickness and length.  and finally, look at the coloring…classic timber wolf markings.  It’s a wolf.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 01:24 PM

1. In life YOU BELIEVE what you WANT to BELIEVE!  I know I have said this so many times its past redundant… The point? For any of you to TRY to rationalize with a TREE HUGGER ...you will get more rational out of the TREE itself!.....................................................................................................................................................

2. Anybody…ANYBODY that thinks that the wolf can not sustain a pack in Illinois is a TOTAL IDIOT!...HOW DO I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT?? .... I know common is relative but please try to use a little bit of sense. Have you ever seen a PACK of WILD DOGS? ....naaaa never!!!! Wake up!!! And of these recent wolf sightings…WHAT???...are they the ONLY Wolves here?! WAKE UP!!!! And just like the Yote just a few years back, you never seen them in daylight hours…NOW they have exploded even in metropolitan areas!

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 03/19 at 01:55 PM

Marc—My apologies for getting carried away.  Not your fault.  It’s just that it irks me to see some people (not you) who are willing to wipe their ass with the Endangered Species Act.  Sorry.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 01:56 PM

Hawg—I agree.  Give them a chance and there will be viable packs in certain areas…like along Spoon River…plenty of habitat and as far as I’m concerned, they are welcome to it.
I hope I get a den on my property.  Come on down!  Eat all the venison you can stomach….the deer are thick as cockroaches and just as useful.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 02:04 PM

Spoon River, no need to apologize but I appreciate it! It says a lot about you.
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Yeah, it’s a touchy subject and who would have thought it would create this much attention. History is now repeating itself in the Midwest as compared to the wild West. It’s hard to say which way is right but one thing for sure, we’ll just have to wait and see what pans out. As far as all of those deer you have over there, I’m envious! LOL.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/19 at 02:11 PM

No Marc wasn’t aiming directly at you just making blanket statements to some of the stuff I’ve seen over both posts. I don’t disagree wolves getting established would change wildlife behavior, but I can say with 100 percent certanty it would not stop me from doing the stuff I love to do, not would I enter the woods in fear. The truth of the matter is I’m safer in the woods with a pack of wolves than I was driving to the woods or work.
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Murdy I wasn’t trying to predict what the feds would do and sure they have the legal power to prosecute. I’m just looking at it as if they know wolves are here then why not get information out on them and their protected status. Look at the regulation books and you will see what I mean.
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JHR no offense taken and yes humans modern day hunting styles are new to the mix and I’m sure like I said before wolves stir up game animals. I do however doubt hunters seeing no deer is the sole blame of the wolves. Yeah I’m sure all the hunting forums say it is, but these days its all about keeping the deer to oneself, so of course anything that could kill a deer besides the lease holder or land owner should be exterminated. Lets use Wisconsin for an example, now I know they say they have a population of 650 wolves, but I’ll up that to 1000 and now lets assume each one of them kills one deer a week (again a high number) so for the entire year over the entire state 52000 deer would be lost to wolves per year, what was wisconsins deer harvest for last year? The real number by the way is around 13000 per year per WDNR website, not exactly decimation or extinction regardless of how you look at it.
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The bottom line is instead of everyone crying wolf on here over a natural predator that will reach an equlibrium with its enviroment, something man does not do, maybe we and those in the other states should point the finger at the real wolves that wear suits and work in their respected capitals for any herd decimation,its over hunting plain and simple thats reducing sightings, but as far as Illinois goes wolves stand no chance, we all know Chicago will not allow its suburban pets get eaten.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 03:57 PM

Wolves and cougars are here to stay.  There is at least one wolf in Macoupin County, IL confirmed by an avid and highly experienced hunter.  I saw the paw print personally - enormous.  There are two wolves in the Lake Villa area in Lake County, IL as of March, 2010.  Not speculation or Little Red Riding Hood hype / fear - factual sightings.  They kill and eat what they can / need.  If you spend time in the woods, be prepared - feces occurs !!  We are food to them, as are our pets.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 06:19 PM

late last fall my boys and i heard howling that didn’t sound like any coyote we have ever heard also seen some pretty large canines wondering the river bottoms some no more than twenty yards or so i never felt a threat they just went on there way a little faster then before they seen me the people that live around here all swear that they have seen wolves or heard them and seen tracks i think if people are seeing more now than maybe they have been here awhile and nobody has seen them till now i don’t think anyone has been ate yet have they?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 07:47 PM

OK Pete, what are you trying to accomplish with your comments?  Scare everyone out of the woods so you can have the deer to yourself. It could work, as it seems some hunters are scared to get down from trees because they saw a wolf run by.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 09:40 PM

The wolf is photo is displayed on my website http://www.heartlandillinois.com along with a deer and coyote photo taken from the same trail cam and location. These pics allow you to judge scale.

Bushy tails are found on wolves, and do look similar to coyotes tails.

In answer to the above query, the animals were approx. 8 feet distant, camera height 4 1/2 ft. +/-

Posted by Bob Coine on 03/20 at 12:49 AM

Two recent news stories: (1) a drunk driver crashes into a house in the middle of the night, killing an innocent person sleeping in their bed; (2) a jogger is killed running on a beach when a small plane is forced to make an emergency landing. Terrible, I know. I’m now terrified of cars and planes. To protect myself and my children from these dangers, we’re going to stop sleeping as we work to re-establish alcohol prohibition, getting cars off the streets, and planes out of the air. Sounds logical. I’ve seen this same logic on a couple of these wolf threads. If you’re scared of wolves in Illinois, you’ve got bigger problems than that.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 09:54 AM

Shelbyhunter, I would think that’s a bit extreme, isn’t it? Cars are designed to carry people and to be safe, airplanes are designed to do the same thing. Both vehicles are designed with safety in mind by following regulations by government standards, to be built with the decreased chance of getting injured when something goes wrong. The person behind the wheel (or yoke in the airplane) also must be tested and qualified to operate those vehicles by government standards. When they don’t (or when there is a malfunction) is when accidents occur. Wolves on the other hand are designed to kill to sustain their own life. They kill big and small game and have no morals or “government standards” to govern WHAT they kill. In fact, they have protection from the government. In untested territory, who knows what they will choose for their meal. One thing for sure, they are not cute cuddly little animals. In fact, they are extremely aggressive and fear little. They are even stupid enough to attack cougars, in which they have been known to do, only to end up on the wrong side of the fight.
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I don’t think everyone is “scared” like you say, just trying to avoid an unnecessary possible hazard in the woods that have been relatively safe for the last 100 years. I for one have seen them in action and I wouldn’t want to be around them any time in the future. I simply don’t trust them. To say everyone is scared to death about wolves being established in Illinois is a bit too much to swallow. I think the proper term would be “concerned”.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/20 at 10:26 AM

While I am not sure whether wolves in a densely populated state like Illinois is a good idea or bad idea, the fear of wolf attacks on humans is not high on my opinion scale. 26 doccumented attacks with two fatalities in all of North America that researchers have been able to find. There have been a number of years where the Illinois shotgun deer season where more than 2 fatalities recorded. The state of Missouri almost always has more than two fatalities during their turkey season. A common cause of the hunting accidents…....... “hunter mistaken for game”, so I guess wolf mistaken for coyote is no big stretch now that I think about it. Even in the states that do have high populations of wolves, fellow hunters are a bigger threat unfortunately than wolves are. Treestands and gravity kill more humans in Illinois every year than wolves in North America ever have. Interesting issue though for us here in the Prarie State, I can only imagine the heated debate on the issue out west. Makes our debates about things such as leasing, non-resident deer hunters, QDM, and anything to do with horns seem like small potatoes.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 10:49 AM

I see what you’re saying Marc. Scared or not, the logic is still the same. People worry about something that has <0.01% chance of happening. If I saw a wolf in Illinois, I’d immediately run to the nearest 711 and buy a dozen lottery tickets. Wolves in Illinois are not a real concern. They are here, yes, but if they become fully established in Illinois like everyone fears, it is very likely that they will have recovered in other midwest states (MN, MI, WI) to the point to where they are taken off the ESA endangered species list. So many other things to worry about right now…..ready for government healthcare?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 11:21 AM

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