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Old 05-08-2012, 06:23 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
14,147 posts, read 19,303,508 times
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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.

I could be wrong of course, and that's another reason I don't want any hunters out here - I have sympathy for lost dogs. I would take him in in a heartbeat if he is a dog. That's why I called him, and when I see him I make a point in talking quietly, in case he is a dog and is testing whether he trusts me. But in my heart of hearts, that's just not what I saw - I saw a wild animal acting strangely.

Missing All 4 Seasons - I actually do understand why you'd think maybe a red wolf for the reasons you've stated. The ears to body don't look quite right for a coyote, and maybe not rounded enough for a wolf? However, from the research I've done, the red wolves are not around in this area, unless (and this is confusing) that is another name you use for the eastern wolf, which has been shown to have some coyote DNA from way back?

I'm sure I'll get a better photo one of these days and I'll be sure to post it.

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?

In any case do you happen to own a shotgun ? the reason Im asking is the fact that at any time you may have to shoot this coyote , wolf what have you and you also might want to just fire it into the air to scare the thing off . In any case if you dont have a gun you might consider getting one . I hate to say it but I would under no circumstance allow that coyote/wolf to get within a hundred yards of my dogs , animals , kids or home . Im sorry to say that as Im an animal lover but mother nature does not change her rules and there might come a time when you have to make a choice between your gsd or this coyote /wolf . I wish you luck I can see from reading your post that this animal has you concerned .
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
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I just re-read some of your size descriptions from the first post, and I'm thinking it'd be the largest coyote I've ever heard of.

I pulled down the old tracking field guide and it suggests an average length of 2-1/2 inches for a coyote track (front) and 2-1/4 (hind). A 4" track would seem too big to be a coyote. There shouldn't be any way a coyote is making 4" tracks.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
I just re-read some of your size descriptions from the first post, and I'm thinking it'd be the largest coyote I've ever heard of.

I pulled down the old tracking field guide and it suggests an average length of 2-1/2 inches for a coyote track (front) and 2-1/4 (hind). A 4" track would seem too big to be a coyote. There shouldn't be any way a coyote is making 4" tracks.
When I started wondering what I'd seen, I searched the internet and came up with that too - one site claimed that was the surest evidence of wolf - a track 4 inches or longer.

But because I only found the one perfect paw print - and I compared it to my GSDs' tracks in the garden (theirs are noticably smaller), and I neglected to take a photo and my horses have since trampled over it all, I'm waiting for a time when I can take another one. Since I can't quite believe my own eyes.

I did try and see his prints on the field itself in later sightings but I was sort of looking over my shoulder, and due to the dry ground, (we'd had a rain a couple of days before I discovered the big paw print), I couldn't pick up anything clear enough to tell.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,779 posts, read 6,689,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
In any case do you happen to own a shotgun ? the reason Im asking is the fact that at any time you may have to shoot this coyote , wolf what have you and you also might want to just fire it into the air to scare the thing off . In any case if you dont have a gun you might consider getting one . I hate to say it but I would under no circumstance allow that coyote/wolf to get within a hundred yards of my dogs , animals , kids or home . Im sorry to say that as Im an animal lover but mother nature does not change her rules and there might come a time when you have to make a choice between your gsd or this coyote /wolf . I wish you luck I can see from reading your post that this animal has you concerned .
It's a farm and so we have guns even though I don't know how to shoot them .

Since he had a what I would consider 'normal' reaction to my male GSD's barking, I'm not so leery going out around the yard. Whatever this animal is, he hasn't shown any obvious aggression, the dogs are up-to-date on their shots, and the beagle is too old at almost 16 to wander that far. I keep an eye on her anyway anytime she's outside.

Two years ago we had a fox family who had their kits under a wooden granary. The parents took off instantly when they saw us, but the little foxes were comfortable enough that I videotaped them for hours from maybe 20 feet away.

Thanks for your posts - I defnitely keep an eye out. At this point I'm most curious as to what he is. When I think of how I went tearing after my GSD in my bare feet and my long johns out onto the field, and maybe he was a wolf, my knees turn a little weak though.

And this animal never ever has wagged his tail, not even when I'm talking to him, the way a dog might cautiously give a tail wag even if they won't approach you.

Last edited by netwit; 05-08-2012 at 11:33 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:31 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Tail-wagging can be a sign of being unsure, the fact it has NOT given a little wag or twitch of the tail when around either you or your dog would cause me to pause and seriously consider the situation closer. It means it is very certain of the situation and itself; that is not a good thing when dealing with either a Coyote or Wolf. The problem isn't if your GSD has it's shots up to date, if it tangles with either a Coyote or Wolf, shots will be a moot point. No matter how large your dog is, it WILL come out on the losing end against a wild animal, even one that is smaller.

You live on a farm with firearms... learn how to use one, and don't take a chance with this animal. It doesn't sound like it is afraid of humans and that gets dangerous real fast.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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It doesn't look like any type of coyote that I have seen....... In CA., (where I am from), they are smaller than what you have pictured.....and the ears are different. They get hungry and thirsty and come out of the hills and have no fear of people......they raid trash cans, dog bowls, fruit that drops from trees, are known to carry off small dogs and babies, too, if they can get away with it...they are very aggressive. This animal is probably hanging around your area because he's catching field mice, etc....... I wouldn't trust him for a second. If you don't want to learn how to use the gun, keep the rake handy......you never know....
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:10 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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You mentioned that he 'trotted'. Does he lope? Wolves lope..(I am not sure if I am spelling it correctly).....and they can go very fast when they do it. I've never really seen a coyote lope......they move their legs more like dogs....... I have a shiloh shepherd........they are HUGE dogs......and sometimes mistaken for wolves.......my dog lopes and can clear the property in no time.....
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:47 AM
 
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Wolves form packs. Coyotes don't.

Recent research has shown the red wolf of the eastern US to be genetically the same as the coyote where the two hand previously been thought to be separate species. The main difference is the red wolves hunt in packs while coyotes are solitary hunters though no doubt those who are the offspring of a coyote-dog or coyote-wolf mating may have inherited pack forming behavior from their non-coyote parent.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:59 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
Tail-wagging can be a sign of being unsure, the fact it has NOT given a little wag or twitch of the tail when around either you or your dog would cause me to pause and seriously consider the situation closer. It means it is very certain of the situation and itself; that is not a good thing when dealing with either a Coyote or Wolf. The problem isn't if your GSD has it's shots up to date, if it tangles with either a Coyote or Wolf, shots will be a moot point. No matter how large your dog is, it WILL come out on the losing end against a wild animal, even one that is smaller.

You live on a farm with firearms... learn how to use one, and don't take a chance with this animal. It doesn't sound like it is afraid of humans and that gets dangerous real fast.
Yes, that's what I was thinking about his lack of tail-wagging. That it wasn't a good sign. He seems totally secure in himself, and maybe this is just the story I had in my head about coyotes, but it struck me as a very uncoyote-like characteristic to act so detached from mortal concerns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurzig View Post
You mentioned that he 'trotted'. Does he lope? Wolves lope..(I am not sure if I am spelling it correctly).....and they can go very fast when they do it. I've never really seen a coyote lope......they move their legs more like dogs....... I have a shiloh shepherd........they are HUGE dogs......and sometimes mistaken for wolves.......my dog lopes and can clear the property in no time.....
He walked. He sped up his walk into trotting steps. And the two times I saw him running my impression was of an effortless but not full-out run - I had no time to see how exactly his legs were positioned. But probably what I would call loping in a horse. I've heard of Shiloh shepherds - big dogs.

I was thinking I might ask my uncle to set up his trail cam. I'm not sure how much clearer that will make things, since it still won't give an indication of size.

My impression was that he was an older animal not a young one.

Last edited by netwit; 05-09-2012 at 02:59 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,736,591 times
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Are you sure the animal is a "he" and alone? It's the right time of year for both coyotes and wolves to have pups, so you might have a mated pair and a den nearby. The need to feed mom & pups can make wild canids bolder than usual.
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