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Missouri wolf or coyote, take two

Several days ago I blogged that the Missouri Department of Conservation had announced an animal shot by a hunter in November was a coyote and not a wolf has had been believed. DNA evidence was credited for the identification.Missouri wildlife officials said DNA evidence shows this animal shot during their recent deer season is a just a large coyotes.Several readers, though, say there’s no way an animal that reportedly weighed 104 pounds can be a pure coyote.

They have a point. Take a look at the photo.

I’ve seen a lot of coyotes but none that were half the size of the animal in the photos sent to me by a mutual friend of the deer hunter who pulled the trigger.

(At the time, he thought he was shooting a coyote. He called a local game warden as soon as he  saw the animal’s size and appearance.)

Does that look like a coyote to you? Me neither.

A little research shows it could be a wild wolf with some coyote DNA in its gene pool. That’s been documented.Wolf, coyote or hybrid? It's a rare and huge midwestern coyote that makes it to 50 pounds. This animal was more than twice that size.It’s possible the animal is any sort of mixture of a wolf, coyote, domestic dog hybrid.

None of the above would be out of the question.

Pure wolves have wandered as far south as Missouri from packs around the Great Lakes.

Wolf/dog hybrids are sold as pets.

But sorry, MDOC, I’m not buying that it is just an abnormally large coyote based on the photos.