Wolves in Lower Peninsula?

HoneyHole
 
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RE: Wolves in Lower Peninsula?

Postby HoneyHole » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:15 am

No new sign at all. I covered alot of ground too. All the pictures were of does. They're keeping the clover nicely trimmed. 

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dmcianfa
 
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:17 am

RE: Wolves in Lower Peninsula?

Postby dmcianfa » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:24 am

This does not appear to be a wolf track to me, trust me you will absolutely know one when you see it. When I see a wolf print in my area I immediately know because it looks like a newfoundland's print minus the roundess and splayed toes that domestic breeds carry. I have trapped in the wild in the Upper Penninsula for years now and in my opinion this track is too degraded to make any confirmation it is indeed a wolf print. In my experience, and I'm not saying I know everything but I have been around the block ya know', this is a front quarter print from a coyote that is probably weeks old and has seen melting around the edges of the print, which make it appear larger than what a normal coyote print size would be (2" width or so). You can tell from your pics that this print has been probably exposed to sunlight for days if not weeks with some amount of rain maybe hitting it as well due to the crustier top layer of snow. This will also deform the track making it appear much larger than normal. If it was a recent track, which I have no reason to believe it is, you would have seen a wolf break through this snow, where a coyote is much lighter and can walk on top of this type of crust. That's just my thought process on it don't take it personal please.

What I would do is follow the tracks to locate some scat from the animal if I could. Wolf scat will have much, much more hair in it and bone fragments as well typically larger than those found in coyotes. Coyote scat will generally have hair, but "fine" hairs in it as well as small teeth from its typical smaller mammallian prey. Wolf scat is also much bigger and longer than coyote scat. Wolves tending to be at least 1.5" in dia to that of a coyote, which is generally 1" or less. You can also use the stride length as well, as a wolf will generally have 6" more travel from print to print, a coyotes being 20" or so, but I cannot tell the nature of the stride or gait from your pictures that you provided. Wolf line of travel are typically more "streamlined" as well with a wander of about 2" or less, while a coyotes straddle will sometimes be as much as 5-6", but hangs around 4 in the area I trap in. More often than not a wolf track is not alone, meaning they hunt in packs and you will often see many wolf prints together from different wolves in the same, if not very close vicinity. Coyotes are more loners in my opinion and I often see them roaming about by themselves. I also see coyote tracks where the hind foot is placed in the front foot track, whereas I have really never seen this in wolf tracks, but then again, never say never. That is my opinion I guess take it or leave it, but it's how I would approach this.

Dom
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.

HoneyHole
 
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:22 pm

RE: Wolves in Lower Peninsula?

Postby HoneyHole » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:37 am

All good points Dom. I think you hit it right on the head. I went scouting again yesterday in the area and found nothing. Pretty tough now that all the snow has melted and lot's of standing water. I know there is an old coyote in the area. I haven't seen him, but heard his low raspy howls. 

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