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Rare gray wolf Iowa: Hunter realizes kill was a wolf, not a coycote

A rare gray wolf in Iowa was shot by a hunter believing the animal was a coyote. A wolf sighting hadn't happened since 1925 in the state. Once the hunter realized his terrible mistake, he took the animal's carcass in for DNA testing.

A test by state biologists proved, indeed, that the large kill was a female gray wolf. She weighed 70 pounds and appeared very healthy. The incident occurred in February in Iowa’s Buchanan County. Wolf hunting in Iowa is illegal; hunting coyotes isn't.

“I was surprised, but not that surprised,” DNR furbearer specialist Vince Evelsizer said. “Large animals can cover great distances, and state lines mean nothing to them.”

Opposing Views reports that Wisconsin and Minnesota have significant wolf populations. Not many are found in Iowa, but as Vince Evelsizer said, state lines don't mean anything to animals.

Wolves were protected under the Endangered Species Act and were from 1974 to 2009in all of the continental The gray wolf was removed from the list, but is a protected species.

The last time a rare gray wolf recorded in Iowa was in Butler County during the winter of 1884 through 1885.

Since the hunter made a genuine mistake, he's not going to be written up for anything. He advises other hunters to make sure they know what they're aiming at before shooting.

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