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Old 02-18-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Okay, here is one of the photos I have. . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
. . .

2. inter-breeding makes it difficult to immediately identify whether a canine is a wolf or coyote or dog [without DNA testing];

3. it has became common that when coyotes are killed, if they check it's DNA they find that most of them are 50% wolf; . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaGrande View Post
Pic looks like a coyote to me, but I'm no expert.
Not sure about Canada, but coyotes in the States tend to be a lot bigger in the East than out West.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
I'm voting dog . . .Coyotes don't act like this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
The tail is straight, without any curl in it, looks to be greyish black underneath, not bushy enough to be foxlike but not a thin scrawny tail either. Maybe like a GSD's tail in terms of bushiness. And when running, the tail was horizontal with the body. When walking or trotting, the tail was straight down.

I'm leaning towards coyote. I'm within an hour of the US border, so I'm not far north at all. However, my uncle, a hunter, tells me that wolves have been spotted at a municipal dump that has been closed for years, and which is only about 3 miles from here, and which backs onto bush.

Happy in Wyoming, I really don't think he is a dog based on looking at him through the binoculars, not from the photo. I don't know how to explain that other than I don't think anyone would look at a fox and mistake a fox for a dog and the minute I saw his features through the binoculars, the only thing I was sure of was that he was no dog.
. . .

Thanks for all your responses.

ETA: I don't know if this behavioural thing will give anyone a clue, but while this animal appears to tolerate my female GSD, he is very leery of my male GSD. I have an underground fence that prevents my male GSD from going onto the field but one day my male GSD was barking madly, and I rushed out to find this strange animal on top of an old straw bale at the outer edge of the field, by the shelterbelt. I don't know if he jumped on it because he was afraid of my male GSD (not knowing that my male GSD couldn't get to him) or if my male GSD spotted him there and then started barking. In any event, I don't know if coyotes or wolves jump on top of things. Or maybe he jumped on top of the bale because that was an advantageous position to fighting my male GSD?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaj121159 View Post
I haven't read the entire thread, but have you ever checked the tracks? A wolf track is huge, and a coyote track is the size of a medium dog's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
I did but I didn't quite believe it. It measured at least 4 inches. I found one perfect print. I think it is in one of my first posts. I wanted to get another example to be sure but wasn't able to as we've had kind of a drought since then and the ground is too hard and dry.

I do have an update though. On my way to town I saw something grey at the side of the road - I pulled over and I think I found my animal. It had been dead for a while - a week at least I think - his pelt was mostly intact, but all his insides had rotted. Feet were intact. He looked like the animal I had seen. I couldn't see what killed him. I told my husband who went to take a look, and he lifted the body and guessed it weighed 30 pounds after extensive decomposition. Huge feet, hubby said, with huge claws. Not a dog.

I was kind of revolted at the flies so I never looked really closely at the feet and I don't know how big a wolf's feet might be as opposed to their print. I might go and take a closer look tomorrow. I heard gunshots about a week ago, something I don't normally hear. I did think about my animal. Maybe he was wounded and died there, or maybe he was hit by a vehicle.

As an aside to that, the night of the blue moon, in the hour before dawn, for the first time I heard yipping that was definitely not foxes. Foxes sound like demons unleashed for the apocalypse. I haven't heard foxes here since the other animal showed up. Because my dogs started barking, I couldn't break it all down sound wise, but there was a single wolf-like howl that threaded through the rest of the pandemonium. When I howled, it continued howling.

Maybe it was a coyote howl. I don't know. Not ever having heard coyotes except through what I have listened to on youtube videos, I would chalk it up to coyotes but for the single howling animal that was out of place with the rest of them.
I know this is a necro-thread - but the topic is, well, topical! Eastern coyotes and wolves are in the news - and in our lives. I grew up in the east, and spent time in NE. No coyotes back then, although there were rare reports of possible coy-dog interbreedings. Wolves did not exist in the contiguous 48, except Isle Royale in Lake Superior. I moved out west - eastern Oregon, WA state, NV, AZ - and met coyote frequently. Listened to them often.

Today I saw a largish grey critter in my back yard, digging where I had buried a squirrel I shot for marauding the bird feeder a couple months back. I'm in central MA, btw - and it has been cold enough the carcass was probably preserved by freezing. He was significantly larger in appearance than a western coyote, and quite grey, not yellow/tawny. He was about 20-25 ft outside our back yard dog fence, which is 20 ft from our kitchen window. Now, it is still mid-winter here - this critter would be in full prime coat - meaning a thick and fluffy coat, which would make him appear larger. My first thought was coyote, but the color was wrong, and the size unusual. On checking the track, though, the paws were small - considerably smaller than my 55-65 lb dogs - so most likely coyote.

But, in addition to this little story, I have a few points. First - the interbreeding must be real. These eastern coyotes are not their western brethren. Second - the behavior described is COMPLETELY in line with observed coyote behavior, although very rare in the western coyote because western coyote tend to be a little more shy of man. But not that much. Coyotes are teases, trolls, troublemakers - that critter in the OP story could have gotten on that stack of hay for the very purpose of teasing that male GSD - knowing, first, that he/she (the coyote critter) could get away, and second, in full confidence that he/she would probably come out on top if there WAS a fight. This sort of behavior is much more commonly recorded in the eastern coyotes - but I've seen at least one youtube vid of a pair of western coyotes trying to tempt a LARGE (labrador, if I recall) dog into the brush. I don't think their purpose was to play. This sort of ploy is exactly what they have been seen doing to lure dogs into joining them as dinner guests - as the main course.

Another point - while we are known to have plenty of coyote in my area - I rarely hear them. Out west I commonly heard them. Here, I think they learn to stay quiet, or they get hunted. The space available here is just smaller - so I'm thinking that hunting pressure makes them more cautious about making noise. Either that, or the interbreeding going on was with some canid who was not so vocal as coyotes for some reason.

From the picture the OP posted, I would have said coyote, and I would have bet on it. Pointy ears, tawny coat, lank appearance, triangular face. But, when the OP tells us it had a huge paw print - I have to vote for wolf. My critter today had a small paw - and I had plenty of good track, due to the snow in the last couple days. Take a look here for a good graphic on paw print size: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Wolf & Coyote Identification.

So, ultimately, I'm voting interbreeding - but with coyote behavior. The only time I've heard of wolves getting this close and personal - and teasing - has been encounters in upper MI with wolves that were losing their fear of man, possibly through interbreeding with dogs. And none of those encounters I've read about were anywhere near as peaceful as the OP's character.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
I was thinking about this last night. I know the Wikipedia article says that "northern" coyotes can get to 70 plus pounds, but there's no source cited. I was wondering just how far north one had to go to find these big coyotes. I came across several links claiming that a coyote (weight cited varying between 60 - 75 pounds) was shot in the mountains in Alberta but there is never any link to where that information came from.

Then there is this story about a guy in New Brunswick who thought he shot a big coyote - 82 pounds. But when the DNA was tested, it turned out that it was the first wolf shot in the province since 1876.

Then I searched for the eastern coyote, which is bigger than the western coyote, and came across a site saying that the eastern coyote average adult male weight is 33.9 pounds.

I had actually hestitated to ask my uncle much about the animal, and I certainly never suggested it might be a wolf since I didn't want to panic anyone, but I asked him yesterday just how much he estimated the 'coyote' he saw from close up weighed and he said his guess was 70 pounds. I think that guessing weights of animals can be deceiving for a variety of reasons - they can look heavier than they are, as you already pointed out about foxes, due to their pelt, but they can also appear lighter since I know that my dogs do not look like they weigh as much as they do because they have such heavy bones.

I'm assuming that a wolf at least would have heavy bones. This uncle isn't a hunter or a dog lover and therefore wouldn't be familiar with either wild animals or dogs. His words were "bigger than the average dog." And he said the animal first showed up at his place last summer.

Now assuming it isn't a dog, which is what I'm assuming because I know the dogs in the area and I took a good look through the binoculars, and it isn't uncommon for dogs to come here. When you yell at a dog it goes pell-mell straight for home. And number two, there aren't many dog breeds that are that size and shape with upright ears of that size other than German shepherds.

Okay. Just wanted to get that off my chest - it isn't easy sorting out the internet stories of the "biggest" coyote, since a lot of people claim to have shot one but they are never confirmed in any scientific way.
Looking at the picture that definitely is coyote but I supposed could be part wolf too. Ive seen coyotes in Arizona and Illinois and they can be quite tall at the shoulder. But looking at the snout and the tail your definitely dealing with something that is atleast part coyote.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _redbird_ View Post
I pulled up to a gas station here in rural Oklahoma and there was a pickup with two huge gray wolves in back. I asked if they were hybrids and he said no. Beautiful creatures, but why do people think a wolf would make a good pet? Even if you bottle feed them and raise them, they are still instinctually wolves.

One of our dogs was part red fox. At least according to the vet who went by the shape of the feet. That dog had no concept of fence lines.
Dogs can't mate with foxes.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Well, I don't have anything to add to the animal I saw last year but this year I saw two coyotes that were definitely coyotes in the same area I saw the other animal. The only reason this is somewhat relevant is that I had absolutely no doubt that these two were coyotes. They had a more fox-like look to them than the other animal and were smaller. They were walking across the field, took note of my barking dogs but kept going. By the time I had run in for my camera they were gone.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:04 PM
 
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You know, it's funny, as in peculiar, that we hear so much talk about interbreeding - and apparently it really happens. We are also told, and this I have seen, that coyotes, wolves, fox, and dog are natural enemies and are naturally pretty "racist" about associating with each other. I guess strangeness happens, though.

That last sighting sounds just like my experience of an average coyote sighting. You get a glimpse, maybe even up close, but the second you get the camera out - or anything else, they are already gone, poof, disappeared with the wind. I'm not sure if they are real smart, or just real wary. I think there is a lot of real smart in there.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:40 AM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
15,087 posts, read 12,231,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _redbird_ View Post
I pulled up to a gas station here in rural Oklahoma and there was a pickup with two huge gray wolves in back. I asked if they were hybrids and he said no. Beautiful creatures, but why do people think a wolf would make a good pet? Even if you bottle feed them and raise them, they are still instinctually wolves.

One of our dogs was part red fox. At least according to the vet who went by the shape of the feet. That dog had no concept of fence lines.
I had a pet wolf. He was a Grey timber wolf. I don't recommend it.
Someone had shot it, but didn't kill it. He crawled under our house to die and I couldn't bear it. I'd toss him scraps of meat laced with painkillers and antibiotics, and every day he'd let me get a little closer. He finally recovered and by then I was the Alpha Wolf in his eyes. I was the pack. His job was to protect me at all costs.
I adored Volchok, but it was problematic. He wouldn't let anyone near me, not family or friends. I finally had to go back to the city and I couldn't possibly take him with me. I had to leave him behind.
I hope he finally found a mate and had a family of his own.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:54 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Wolves might be wearing a nightgown and nightcap or trying to blow down houses whereas a coyote will likely be seen trying to assemble some sort of contraption or strapping a rocket to his back...
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:02 PM
 
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they just found out in the north east we have a hybred of sorts
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Well, this is my old thread but I believe I promised some posters to post an update when I had one. And I still am not sure what the animal was in my original post but I gave a local hunter permission to hunt here and so far he has taken out 3 coyotes and found evidence of at least a dozen living in the bush.

But he also on several occasions not only found fresh wolf paw prints (of a single wolf he said) but he also saw the wolf in the middle of the road a week ago, acting quite unafraid.

So I still don't know what I was almost nose-to-nose with, since there is at least one wolf around here and a lot of coyotes. I have also heard the coyotes singing in what sounded like a large pack, and on a couple of occasions, heard a single animal howling that sounded different than the coyotes. Not as hysterical.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:25 AM
 
Location: NW Nevada
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We have coyotes, in profusion, around here. As more and more people have moved in, over the decades, their numbers have increased, they get larger , and fear of people has abated. Smaller pets are at the top of the menu, cats being a favorite. Many of the new by, former urbanites, put food out for them. Not a super great idea, by the way.

They will approach, quite close, at times, and act very "tame". They are not. At all. Coyotes are the ultimate survivalists. They adapt, readily, to all conditions, and thrive around people. I , personally, rate them close to sentient, on the intelligence scale, and numero uno for adaptability. I place them at the same place as a predator, as well. For sheer numbers and ...variety...of diet. They are specialized only for survival. I rate the coyote as "top dog". Period. They are not to be taken lightly.
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