From South Dakota Game Fish and Parks
DNA testing of a sample taken from a wolf-like animal that was recently killed by a coyote hunter confirmed the animal was indeed a wolf from the Great Lakes Region. The hunter who mistakenly shot the animal was hunting coyotes north of Woonsocket, South Dakota in Sanborn County on December 18, 2010. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks law enforcement officials confiscated the 90 pound male animal after being made aware of the incident.
â€œMinnesota has a healthy wolf population, so itâ€™s not uncommon for young male wolves to periodically wander into the Dakotas,â€ said Wildlife Conservation Officer Chris Kuntz of Huron. â€œYoung male wolves are often pushed out of a pack and will simply wander across country. They usually donâ€™t spend much time in any one location and generally move out of an area within a few days from when theyâ€™re first sighted,â€ said Kuntz. â€œUnfortunately in this case, a hunter mistook the animal as a coyote and it was killed,â€ he said. The hunter that shot the wolf will not be charged with a violation, as he clearly misidentified the animal as a coyote.
Hunters pursuing coyotes in eastern South Dakota are reminded that wolves are listed as â€œendangeredâ€ under the Federal Endangered Species Act. This protection makes it illegal for a hunter to kill or possess such species. â€œHunters are reminded to use extreme caution when hunting coyotes to make sure they can identify their target before they shoot,â€ said Kuntz.
While camping in the North Woods of Minnesota I have heard my fair share of wolves howling throughout the night but never had the opportunity to see one, let along see one in South Dakota.Â Have any of your seen a wolf while in South Dakota?Â Let us know your experience by commenting on this post.