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Illinois canine confirmed as wolf

July 03, 2008 at 03:02 PM

The canine shot by a coyote hunter near Lena on Feb. 19 has been confirmed as a wolf says Bob Bluett, Illinois furbearer biologist.

At first the animal was estimated to weigh 145 pounds. That prompted some speculation the large canine was a hybrid. But the animal actually weighed only 84 pounds when it was put on a scale.

Additional testing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showed the canine was a male whose genetics match that of the western Great Lakes population of wolves according to a report from Matt Karras of the USFWS. The stomach was empty but there was rabbit hair in the colon, said Glen Kruse of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The grey wolves that have been confirmed in Illinois have all been smaller males that were most likely driven off from their packs in Wisconsin.

Here is the recent history of wild wolves that likely spent time in Illinois.

2001 — There’s a good chance another timber wolf wandered through Illinois this year. That radio-tagged animal left Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and journeyed more than 500 miles to northeastern Missouri, where it was shot by a hunter who believed he was killing a coyote.

2002 — The first confirmed wild wolf in Illinois was shot by Randy Worker on Dec. 29, 2002 in Marshall County near Henry (also along the Illinois River). Worker was coyote hunting when he shot the wolf, which was thought to have wandered south out of Wisconsin.

2003 — A wolf wearing a radio collar placed on it by Wisconsin researchers was killed in Indiana. Most believe this wolf passed through Illinois, even though nobody reported seeing it.

2005 — The last wild wolf in the Chicago area was killed by a car in Lake County near the Chain O’Lakes State Park on Feb. 17, 2005. That wolf, too, was thought to have wandered south out of Wisconsin.

2005 — The last confirmed timber wolf in Illinois was killed in December of 2005 in Pike County by Seth Hall, who was hunting coyotes near New Canton. The wolf was confirmed as wild and part of the Great Lakes pack orginating in Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan.

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

Since Illinois doen’t have a wolf season….is it illegal to kill one?

Posted by whoa there big fella on 07/03 at 06:59 PM

if it isn’t it should be. And I’m not going off on a PETA-like anti kill rant.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/03 at 08:20 PM

I have been following the media since the wolf was delisted by Fish & Wildlife and with the corporate ranchers ranting about how much damage the packs do I wonder if anyone looks into how much damage the ranchers do on the open land (prairies) with their over feeding their livestock thus encroaching on the wolves habitat.  Then they blame the wolves for attacking their livestock.  The media than creates a frenzy about a wolf killing a steer but never mentions the eco damage the ranchers create.  Someone should mention that open prairie is just that and a rancher does not own it even though the feds give them grazing rights.  How about stopping the ranchers from wanting every piece of land around them and further going into the habitat of the wolf.
Sort of reminds me of the old western days and the way we just took over all the Indian land and kicked them off.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/05 at 04:35 AM

Sorry I did not finish and hit the post instead of preview button.  Instead of everyone killing them what is wrong with trapping and relocating specially since they are lone wolves.  Myself I would rather be with a wolf than a pit bull if either one was going to attack me because wolves do not attack unless threatened.  People are afraid of them because of all the false bad media.  Research and read up and there are more bear and mountain lion attacks than wolf attacks on people and you do not see us eliminating them.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/05 at 04:43 AM

I too thought it was illegal now to kill a wolf in Illinois.  I am with the above blogger, let em live. Im not a PETA freak either.  I am a hunter myself, if its mistaken for a coyote then thats life but if the time came where there was any question.  I would error on the side of not pulling the trigger.
Its like the bear sightings, probably is a bear that has relocated due to all the flooding in Wisconsin.  Does it need to be shot by some goofball who wants to add a bear to his collection.  I don’t think so, let the DNR try to capture it and get it back to where it belongs.  Obviously Illinois isn’t ready for bears.  If you want a thrill killing a bear go up to the great white north and kill one.  Good ol Fred Bear said something like that.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/05 at 01:54 PM

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