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Hunter Kills First Gray Wolf Seen In Iowa In 89 Years, Report
Grey wolf spotted in Iowa and shot dead

Hunter Kills First Gray Wolf Seen In Iowa In 89 Years, Report

An animal shot dead by a coyote hunter in Iowa in February was the first gray wolf spotted in the state since at least 1925, DNA testing has confirmed.

The hunter, who hasn’t been named, shot the female wolf near Fairbank in northwest Buchanan County believing it to be a similar-looking coyote.

It is legal to shoot coyote in Iowa, though hunting wolves is illegal as they are a protected species.

“I was surprised but not that surprised,” DNA specialist Vince Evelsizer told the Gazette. “Large animals can cover great distances, and state lines mean nothing to them.”

After being nearly exterminated across the continental U.S., gray wolves have returned to many states in the last two decades, both due to reintroductions and populations migrating from Canada. Gray wolves have been confirmed as far west as California and Oregon and as far east as Michigan. During the same time wolves have been vindicated by science as key ecological species. As top predators, wolves not only manage prey populations of animals such as deer and elk, but also change their behavior, curbing unhindered grazing. For example, the wolf’s return to Yellowstone National park led to a resurgence in young forest and a subsequent explosion in biodiversity.

But in many states wolves are now actively hunted and trapped. A legislative rider stripped the wolves of protection from the Endangered Species Act in 2011, the only animal to ever lose its protection in this way.

As of January this year, hunters and trappers have killed 2,567 gray wolves in the U.S.’s lower 48 states since 2011. In all around 6,000 wolves are thought to inhabit the lower 48 now, up from a nadir of 300 before the gray wolf gained protection in 1974.


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    1. Thanks for killing the 1 grey wolf in Iowa, jerkoff.

      • 1. He did not KNOW it was a wolf, obviously none had been seen since 1925
        2. With increasing populations, it is likely that there WILL be more
        3. Now other hunters will look closer saving wolves that do migrate in the future.
        Name calling someone who did not know the species was even around is not productive, and juvenile. Although I would say that it is in keeping with the way people act today. It is a real shame we have to call someone a name in order to feel better about our selves.

        • Kevin Gardiner

          He didn’t know it was a wolf ? Come on, this is the kind of person that shouldn’t have a gun in his hands !!! Next time he’ll say , I didn’t know it was a person !!!!!!!!

        • shoot first and ask questions later. Typical gun toting jerk. I’m a hunter and a person who owns a few guns. I have been around these idiots that are crazy for guns most of my life. Many of them are too irresponsible (not all but too many) to own a gun. Anyone who shoots something and doesn’t know %100 exactly what it is should have gun rights taken away! Period!

      • caroline crossman


        Jim, please do not take up for this man!!! unless you are his best buddy …uughhh. I am appalled! It is a terrible disgrace and NO NO NO hunters will not be more careful in the future. its all about that finger on the trigger
        Trigger happy!

        was he being threatened? NO this is the result of guns allowed in America. This is a sad day when a hunter….shoots “something” he believes to be a coyote? And why would he shoot the coyote?
        GUNS IN HIS HANDS FOLKS….a very sad example of a trigger hungry fool
        he should be shot as well. Did he just leave the poor animal there dead somewhere? What a sad sad world!!!!!

    2. Dear Hunter:

      If you don’t know the difference between a wolf and a coyote then maybe you should not carry a firearm; meat head.

      • @Animal Lover – In all fairness, when you see a horse in the distance, you don’t assume it’s a Zebra if it’s always been a horse in the past. Wolves and Coyotes are very similar in many respects and sometimes it requires a DNA test to be sure. Wolves can also breed with Coyotes which makes cross identification even more odd. I’m not happy about the kill, but you can’t judge the guy.

      • I agree…..too many idiots out there that carry a gun….

    3. Marshall Quelch

      I am a big game hunting guide in northern manitoba,around riding mountian national park and yukon,for the last forty years.I have never heard of atimber wolf mateing with a coyote,and their is quite a differance in the two.The wolf is quite a bit bigger,the tail on the coyote is very dominent and their heads are quite different,the coyote has a much sharper nose and the wolf’s head looks a lot bigger on his body.

      • I agree! Wolves and coyotes do not mate. Wolves will, in fact, kill coyotes. I don’t care what the comments are supporting this guy. If you cannot tell the difference between a coyote and a wolf you should not be hunting coyotes. They are very easy to tell apart if you take a minute before pulling the trigger. If you aren’t EXACTLY sure what you’re shooting at, don’t shoot. Too many take the shot and try to figure it out afterwards. It’s a little late by then.

    4. First and last for awhile it seems.

    5. When no grey wolf has been seen for 89 years in area, the brain tends to automatically expects it to be a coyote.

    6. Right, but let’s shoot first and kill it, then worry about identifying it…..dumbass!

    7. How tragic. . . . and the reason for even shooting coyotes, anyway? If offended, stay out of their yard. Where do we get off thinking that everything in our country belongs to everyone, at the expense of our natural resources — whether it be animals, lakes & streams, etc. I am not so unrealistic that I negate the need for food and protection. It just seems that we always go to excess. Let’s even the playing field. Put him out there with a pocket knife instead of a bazooka and a scope, and see who wins. Better yet, if he has a burning desire to shoot something, turn a child rapist loose, and go after him. He’s far more dangerous than any animal, and it would save us money.

    8. The hunter should have to pay to bring gray wolves back into the area where he killed the wolf. If I was this hunter I would want to do everything I could for being so trigger happy.

    9. Regarding the sheer senseless murder of the lone female grey wolf in Iowa…. this “hunter” should have his hunting permit suspended, or, better still, revoked. If he cannot distinguish a coyote from a wolf then he should NOT have a license to shoot ANYTHING!! Next thing you know he’ll be eyeing a Siberian Husky in his crosshairs! It is quite obvious to me this reckless “human” has NO business or RIGHT to own or be any where in the vicinity of any gun, pistol, or rifle lest he kill a “human”. My, my wouldn’t you hear the massive outcry from millions of “humans” then, wouldn’t you? I stand with the Wolves!

    10. Don’t shoot defenseless animals period!! Only for survival or protect livestock or habitat.

    11. What an a’hole.

    12. Every hunting course or briefing I’ve ever had all very clearly stated, You MUST positively identify your target BEFORE shooting! If you have any doubt what-so-ever, do NOT shoot!

      You know, otherwise you kill the wrong animal, or a kid traipsing through the brush holding up something cool they’d found like a set of antlers, or other such major F-ups.

      Only idiots that don’t follow that basic rule shoots a wolf by mistake.

    13. In typical American fashion…shoot first ask questions later.
      I’m sure he’s telling himself “Maybe those gray wolves will think twice before crossing our border again!”

    14. Wolves shouldn’t be around any populated area. They kill pets and people. There is a reason they were eliminated in the lower 48. Good for the hunter. He’s protecting the rest of you dips

      • A fool like you obviously knows nothing about ecology. The hunter shot a protected species, he should be fined and charged under the various wildlife protection laws.

        • I really don’t feel they should be protected. It was a stocked animal and not here in the first place. The genes are entirely different. They are killing machines and have decimated the deer and elk populations in Montana and are moving into Idaho and other states now because they have nothing to kill anymore. What is going to happen when they run out of game and the Ecological system is totally upset? They will turn to pets, Livestock and humans. I hope they visit the places where you antis live so you can see first hand what they really do. Maybe when they start eating your pets and children you will see. It is not a cute cuddly animal and they totally upset the balance of Nature. Matt

          • Matt, I am not sure where you learned about the ecosystem but I disagree with your homocentric perspective. The ecosystem is screwed up because of humans, not wolves, or any other species. Man has destroyed the planet all by him (or her) self. The entire planet would correct itself if we as a species went away. Eventually we will destroy ourselves too but by then it will be too late for others. And I am not naïve enough to think they make cute cuddly pets. I am sure they would go after my dogs if they were looking for food. Perhaps we should stop overpopulating and stealing their habitat. Maybe they would be more inclined to leave us alone then.

          • “What is going to happen when they run out of game and the Ecological system is totally upset?” Wolves are part of the ecological system that nature intended. The system is screwed up when they are removed. Take a look at all the beneficial results from them being re-introduced into Yellowstone. Everything from increased wildlife diversity to rejuvenation of plant life and forest.

          • I love people like you. Wolves have their place in this world just like any other animal. Wolves will take down an old or injured animal before they will a healthy one. It’s people like you who spew crazy crap the help give the wolf a bad rap they don’t deserve. Red Riding Hood is a childhood story, not real life. They aren’t going to come out of the woods and get you. They aren’t supposed to be “cute and cuddly.” They are a wild animal. People who live in areas where there are wolf populations can tell you they’ve rarely seen one. What do you mean they are a “stocked” animal? Wolves were never supposed to be “stocked”, but because of people with attitudes like yours they were nearly made extinct back in the day. It’s man’s responsibility to right the wrong that was done not so many years ago. If that’s what you mean by “stocked” then that’s exactly what should be happening. I want to see proof where wolves have been documented being a threat to children and pets. You need to get informed. Wolves don’t upset the balance of nature. That one cracked me up! Wolves were a part of nature that was removed. There is no balance to nature without them.

      • Oregon conservationalist

        When was the last time you heard of a wolf killing a person in the lower US? Let me help you…they don’t. I would also like to know a couple of hundred wolves (I’m limiting my count to a state or two) can “decimate” a population of deer and elk in the hundreds of thousands. Ever seen a fat wild wolf? No, and you never will. They don’t kill something every day as a rule. Game is too hard to bring down. Matt, you are so off-base it boggles the mind. Wolves maintain the stasis of an ecosystem, they don’t destroy it. They cull the weak and the old and sick. Just because I’m curious, when was the last time a wolf ate one of your kids or pets?

    15. can we kill him in return?

    16. Three of us spotted 2 grey wolves in eastern Iowa near the Mississippi river last month.

    17. Oregon Conservationist

      Oops, sorry! My finger got ahead of me! I meant “Conservationist”

      And I meant to say “how” a few wolves can decimate a population. Apologies.

    18. if your killing for sport and not food, youre an idiot.

    19. Yatahay everyone,time has unfolded again and again to show that the white-eyes cannot see from afar much less things that are directly in front of them,history will keep repeating itself until they themselves kill off each other……..THEN my brothers,time will be on the Wolves side……rest in peace.

    20. wolves have wiped out herds of deer in our area the trapping of wolves in our area the last season let alone the past few years, has not only increased deer population but weaned out more predators like coyotes, fox, which will also kill deer not including the fawns that hide in the tall grass from predators, that get eaten “Alive” have you ever seen how these animals take down a prey.? they will start eating them bite by bite before the animal is even on the ground, still walking with chunks of flesh missing, tell me a wolf is good for managing an ecosystem, let a “dog” eat our resources, while we starve.? wipe out the wild dogs save food for our families.! not everyone goes to the store to buy meat for the table some of us, live off the land for our resources, so protect the wolf, loose our resource, get rid of the wolf, more resources for humans there is a lot of points made by other commenters here, I understand some, because one guy shot the one wolf seen in decades, while coyote hunting, where there is no wolves, better for your state, hunter man.! how much revenue do out of state hunters bring to Iowa each year to harvest deer.? probably in the millions.! bring a few packs of wolves down there put them in the same “grove” of trees in Iowa and watch the revenue fall to pieces.! shoot em’ if they are a threat to your livelihood, which they are if you hunt, and live on the resources, as some of us do, let the air out of em’ because they will attack, and an FYI they do attack people and pets.! a matter of fact there was a kid drug out of his tent while camping with his family only 17 miles down the road from where I sit right now.! so think they don’t go camping where wolves are, enjoy your lunch with your family, hear that twig crack, don’t look.!
      wipe out wolves save the deer, elk, moose, sheep, cows, horses, pets, family….. or save the dog.! decisions decisions…

      • Thanks Minnesota, form Oct. 18, 2015 at 8:21 am, for exemplifying how many in the human race are still not mentally evolved. I wonder how many generations it will take to breed the ignorance out of you? And what will be the cost to society and the natural world?

    21. It’s time for the folks who mistakenly feel that wolves are ruining the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem to get educated.

      Take the time to watch the video at the above link with an open mind.


    22. We practice Shoot Shovel Shut Up.

      Mountain Lions and Wolves are not going to attack my grand kids

    23. I feel fortunate to live in British Columbia where it’s legal to shoot both during lawful hunting season.

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