"Canid" shot a year ago in Vermont was a wolf, genetic tests say

One of the most viewed articles on this blog has been the post of a year ago about what seemed to be a wolf, the first in over 100 years, shot in Vermont. Story from Oct. 2006.

Finally, genetic tests are in and indicate it was a wolf.

Genetic test confirms wolf shot in Vermont. By Peter Hirschfeld. Times Argus Staff







  1. John Glowa Avatar
    John Glowa

    It’s unfortunate that the USFWS released this information to the press without releasing it to the public. The Maine Wolf Coalition submitted a FOIA for the file months ago and was denied on grounds that there was an ongoing investigation. We and others had no opportunity to review or rebut the info. before the government spin doctors released it. It is no secret that the feds want to get out and stay out of the wolf business in the northeast. I neither trust nor believe any supposed conclusions regarding the origin of the animal. I do know that possible wolves were known to U.S., Vermont and Quebec government officials for several years just 10-15 miles from where this animal was killed-and nothing was done to protect them or to inform Vermont hunters. A 99 pound wolf was killed in New York state in 2005 that had “northern rockies” and “great lakes” ancestry. The feds assumed that it had been bred in captivity but provided no explanation for where it might have come from or who bred it. I and three other individuals recently petitioned the Sec. of Interior to regulate the commerce and taking of “coyotes”, eastern wolves, and coyote/wolf hybrids in NY, VT, NH and ME due to to their similarity in appearance to gray wolves. During our research for the petition, we found evidence that wolves have been being killed in the northeast U.S. since at least the 1950’s. They continue to be killed illegally while the state and federal governments at best do nothing, or at worst advocate killing them as “coyotes”.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Thanks for what you are doing and bringing us up to date.

    Given what you have said, the posts from Jon Way on the eastern coyotes, and what I have read, I suspect these departments of wildlife, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have been getting away with a lot in the the Northeast.

  3. Jon Way Avatar

    Hi John and Ralph,
    I completely agree with John on this. They do nothing to protect the literal slaughter of eastern coyotes in slap people on the wrist when the eastern coyote turns out to be a slightly larger animal that looks remarkably similar – ie, the eastern wolf.
    I can’t wait for a new president and cabinet to actually do something about these issues….

  4. Sally Roberts Avatar
    Sally Roberts

    how does a wolf have both northern rockies and great lakes genetics and be a wild wolf? i am skeptical one would come from the northern rockies, through the midwest, breed, and then one of the offspring would end up in the northeast. seems a little far-fetched.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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