Coyote Hunter May Have Bagged Wolf By Mistake

Wolf 1Osceola County, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is trying to figure out if an animal shot by a coyote hunter in Osceola County Sunday is a wolf or dog, or a mixture of some sort.

D-N-R spokesman Kevin Baskins says the hunter quickly determined it was NOT a coyote and called a conservation officer.

Baskins says they’ll look at the animal’s D-N-A and do some other standard testing.

D-N-R wildlife biologists say the genetic lineage between dogs and wolves is about 95 percent the same or more, and Baskins says that makes it difficult to tell what an animal is just by looking at it.

Baskins says wolf sightings in Iowa are not common, but do occur. An animal shot in Buchanan County in February 2014 was confirmed to be a wolf.

Minnesota and Wisconsin are home to several hundred packs of Great Lakes wolves and if this animal is found to be a wolf, it could have come from those packs.

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