Wolf shot by Woonsocket

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.

“Minnesota has a healthy wolf population, so it’s not uncommon for young male wolves to periodically wander into the Dakotas,” said Wildlife Conservation Officer Chris Kuntz of Huron. “Young male wolves are often pushed out of a pack and will simply wander across country. They usually don’t spend much time in any one location and generally move out of an area within a few days from when they’re first sighted,” said Kuntz. “Unfortunately in this case, a hunter mistook the animal as a coyote and it was killed,” 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 “endangered” under the Federal Endangered Species Act. This protection makes it illegal for a hunter to kill or possess such species. “Hunters are reminded to use extreme caution when hunting coyotes to make sure they can identify their target before they shoot,” 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.  Have any of your seen a wolf while in South Dakota?  Let us know your experience by commenting on this post.

3 thoughts on “Wolf shot by Woonsocket

  1. Wolves in South Dakota? While deer hunting west river, wolves were seen by our group. Secondly, while predator hunting in the same area, we seen wolves. Very easy to identify vs a coyote. May be this will be like the mountain lion?

    • That is pretty concerning news Chuck. While hunting in North Western Montana I have seen the negative effect wolves can have on not only the livestock population but also big game animals. We found two wolve killls while on a seven day hunt last year. At one, the pack had strung a bull moose out throughout a 100 yard section of trail. That gruesome sight is becoming more and more common according to the locals we talked to.

  2. dear sir the wolves have decimated the deer atmy cabin off 60 years it horriblw we need a season and i trap also but the minn dnr whats to keep federal trapper who by the way are jokes on the job thanks bill thompson duluth

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