Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gray Wolf Killed in East Texas

 A wolf has been killed in East Texas. 

That is not a misprint or a mistake. A gray wolf was shot and killed this past week in a heavily wooded region of East Texas. I will not be revealing the location – please don’t ask – for a variety of reasons. I will say that the man who took the wolf is a close friend of mine and I can absolutely vouch for the authenticity of the story and the photographs included in this post. 

The details are as follows: The property owners where the wolf was taken were decorating for a party they would be hosting the next day. The family noticed the animal skulking about on the edge of the wood line and reported it to my friend. He told me the family members described it as being “as large as a shepherd.” These are people who live in the woods and they know a coyote when they see one. They were quite sure this was no coyote. My friend searched the area, but found no sign of it.


The next day, the animal was seen again – this time by a delivery person who had come to the property. According to the delivery man, the animal fled when it was seen. Another search revealed nothing.

Sunday evening, my friend heard one of his dogs yapping at something in a pasture that was occupied by livestock. Upon investigation, my friend saw a huge, gray, dog-like animal interacting with his pointer. The interaction did not seem aggressive, but knowing coyotes will often act playful in order to lure a domestic dog away from its yard in order to attack it, my friend decided to take no chances. He felt that a huge wolf-like animal near his livestock, dogs, and family was a recipe for disaster and took the shot.



The animal weighed in at 120 lbs. Certainly, this was no coyote. On top of that, it did not look like a coyote; it looked like a wolf. My friend called the local Game Warden who arrived and took possession of the animal. My friend was notified today that the animal has been positively identified as a gray wolf by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Gray wolves (Canis lupus) once roamed over the western two-thirds of Texas but has long been considered extirpated there. While red wolves once occupied East Texas, gray wolves were always rare there. It has long been believed that the last two gray wolves in Texas were killed in 1970. One was shot on the Cathedral Mountain Ranch, south of Alpine in Brewster County on December 5 and the other was trapped on the Joe Neal Brown Ranch, located near the point where Brewster, Pecos, and Terrell Counties meet. While there have sporadic wolf reports from all over the state since 1970, almost all of them turned out to be coyotes. As for the few sightings that seem intriguing, the more likely candidate was always the red wolf. These facts are what makes this incident so fascinating.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife biologists are almost certain that this animal – though absolutely a gray wolf – was someone’s pet. Whether this unfortunate canid escaped an enclosure or was released will never be known.

I’m sure the biologists are correct and that this was not a truly wild wolf. Wolves are pack animals, not solitary wanderers. Certainly, a pack of wolves – even a small one – would be noticed by authorities and the locals. Still, the next time I am out in the woods and hear the coyotes start to howl and carry on, I will pause and listen a little more closely. My hope is that I will hear an answer to their calls that goes on longer and is a bit deeper, something that might indicate the presence of a wild canid larger than a coyote.

A guy can hope… 

15 comments:

  1. Not even close to being a pure wolf. There are many low content wolfdogs here, that’s what the animal is.

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  2. I'm glad it was taken before it could breed with the coyotes. Coywolves are just as dangerous.

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  3. Why did he have to shoot it. Shoot in the air, scare him. Then set up a trap and get this poor animal to a sanctuary where he could have lived out his life in safety.

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  4. Is it possible this was a wolf hybrid (wolfdog)? They are becoming very popular and if they are not raised properly they can become too much for the owners and maybe someone dumped their wolfdog? Just a thought since it was alone and not with a pack.

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  5. That is not a wolf
    Hybrid German shepherd
    Where was it

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  6. My son and myself saw one in rock island texas about 7 years ago walking in a creek bed when we cross a bridge. It was thin and tall very gray color. They do exist just like black Panthers do.

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  7. I've got some property outside of Gilmer and I swear I have seen a wolf like this there a couple of times. I've been told it had to be something else but I know what I've seen.

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  8. It is common for wolves to separate from the pack when the female has new pups and they wander to find new areas.

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  9. Now days I wouldn't tell anyone if I shot a wolf, or even saw one. SSS is the best.

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  10. I am pretty sure there are wolves where I live in Garrison. After listening to the difference in the sounds especially. Have many recordings lol

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  11. Saw 2 wolves behind my shop building in 2019 in Marion Co. , I hunt coyotes & hogs year round,I do know the difference

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  12. I had a very close encounter with one of these wolves a couple of years ago. I heard my cat hissing outside of my bedroom window, which I initially thought was just a cat fight. When I went to look, a wolf (not a dog or a coyote, but a WOLF) had my cat's neck scruff in it's jaws, shaking him about. I yelled and threw the nearest object at the wolf, who paused for a moment before dropping my cat and running away into the night. (My cat is fine).
    This happened in a suburb of Kilgore

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  13. There are Grey wolves in this area I wish people would stop sugar coating this subject and they do live solitary lives anything can over come and adapt to the environment.My uncle lives in Queen city and on his 75 acres there was a female who raised two litters of pups in the woods 2020 and 2021 pure grey wolf pups we never saw the male but she had to be getting sperm from some where we think she has moved on.so the Texas parks and wildlife can stop they lies.

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  14. I’ve seen a Wolf on Hwy 155 in Marion County and another Wolf in Harrison County on FM 2879 in the past 2 years

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  15. My daughter just recorded a grey wolf on our property in East TX - we saw it again with another wolf the following day - they ran at light speed when they saw a car. I won't tell neighbors here - they would just kill them. Wolves are amazing animals - they need to be protected from dangerously ignorant people!

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