wolves in ny state ???

lynnenychemungMarch 4, 2006

Was wondering about the sightings of wolves in New York State. Just recently two of my friends have spotted what they say was a wolf.

(We live in a very rural area.....forested and with a huge

deer population in Chemung County which sits on top of the

PA border.)

FRIEND # 1...last year.... She lives on an 125 acre farm surrounded by forests on a dirt road ...not many houses on her road and not many cars go by all day long. That type of thing....REMOTE.

She insists she saw a large, gray wolf cross her treeline

while looking out her big kitchen window one morning last year. Almost noontime...clear day. She has seen all kinds of wildlife having lived on her land for almost 45 years.

She has seen several coyotes and bobcats ....but insists this was a WOLF and not a dog. She did not get a photo.

FRIEND # 2....lives about 25 miles north of Friend # 1....

on a high hill...her home has about 20 acres and is surrounded by state forest land.

She just emailed me last month about this large gray wolf that was visible on their property . She said it was definetly a wolf....not a coyote..and stayed on her land for almost an hour. Her husband took video of it.

I am in Florida now...so have not seen the video...but she

was quite excited about the whole thing !!

HAS anyone else heard of wolves in New York ?

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There has been an occasional wolf-sighting report, usually unsubstantiated.

The rumors that wolves have been introduced by the DEC have started up again. These are as bogus as the reports that the DEC has secretly been reintorducing mountain lions.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 7:06PM
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I live in Schoharie county, a couple years ago (maybe 8) there was a wolf in a field just outside town. It was in all the papers, I'll have to see if I can find the article. We have also had bald eagle, moose, bobcat and black bear in the area. I am not that far out of town and live on a dead end road with 11 houses. My neighbor thought my black lab got loose in his yard, it turned out to be a black bear.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 3:07PM
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Yes there are wolves in NY state!! I'm a native to the Adirondack Mts 42 yrs now and have seen only 2 untill recently. We live on an old farm on a dead end rd with several near by neighbors. We have just recently been prey to 4 or 5 different wolves. We had 12 geese then 10 then 8 and all the way down to 4 . There was no sign of a fight no feathers no nothing. Then I started sitting in my van with a shotgun and they knew. My wife and I have both seen them but have not been quick enough to get a picture of them. At first I thought it was a mt lion that has been seen around here on a regular basis for quite a few years now that was taking our geese. I don't believe that DEC or any other agency has released them but they are here and they are very much so predators. These animals-the wolves- are so smart that there next to impossible to get a picture or even a quick sighting of befor they vanish into the woods. It wont be long and there will be a problem with them. The mt lions that arent here well their worse but not quite as sneeky about things at least we can hear when their around. Its what you don't hear and don't see that I worry about !!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 4:15AM
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adina72(z5 CNY)

There are wolves up north in Jefferson County near my in-laws farm outside of Adams.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 1:27PM
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Today in the parking lot of my job, in amherst NY rite along the I90 I saw a wolf running, It was indeed a wolf! I work in a suburben area right near buffalo airport, it was crazy. Not to long after that, people noticed on the side of the road, next to my job a dead dear that was obviously eaten.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 6:53PM
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How very disturbing. This post started out normally and honestly enough and then the goofy ideas started leaking in.

Some of these posts are encouraging, the thought that perhaps there really are some wolves in NY. You couldn't be luckier than to have them join you.

But then, I start to see the same ideas seeping in from yesteryear, the ones that detroyed the wolf population to begin with. The idea that wolves are somehow stealing geese. First off, I cannot imagine why you wouldn't lock up your geese at night. Even if there weren't wolves and mountain lions, there are still fox and coyote and about 40 other species willing and able to kill a goose for a free meal. The worst thing is, you open your big mouth without KNOWING, and other people believe you and your BS.

Having studied wolves for over 30 years I am able to tell you in all honesty, goose owner, that it is 'not' wolves killing your geese. At least not wild wolves, perhaps wolf- dog hybrids or someones pet wolf or even someone's German Shepherd.

Then I hear someone spouting off about a wolf running along a major Interstate. Highly doubtful a wild wolf would do something like that. In fact 'highly doubtful' would be a generous term. Sounds like dog behavior to me.

And then hearing about a 'dear' kill.. or maybe that was 'deer'? Whichever, since the person didn't elaborate on what signs made it a wolf kill rather than any other predators kill, I have to assume they don't know their *** from a hole in the ground. And if, as suggested, the deer was near the aforementioned Interstate, chances are a car hit the deer and something (BIRDS MAYBE) came along and nibbled on the carcass.

Living in Minnesota, with by far the largest wolf population in the lower 48, and studying wolves my entire life, I can tell you without any conviction that it would be a blessing to have wolves in your beautiful state. It would not be a nuisance, it very rarely is here.

It's a real shame there are such negative attitudes toward wolves, bred from ignorance and the fear of the unknown.

If you are truly lucky, one day you will be able to hear the call of the wolf echoing across New York State. That will be all most New Yorkers would ever know of them because of the shy, elusive creatures they are.

If you would be interested in knowing more about the TRUE behavior of wolves, I would suggest any of David Mech's works, or visiting the International Wolf Center on the web at www.wolf.org. Happy learning.

Here is a link that might be useful: International Wolf Center

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 12:05PM
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In 2000 a man was hunting coyotes in the Adirondacks. He called in what to him were two vary large coyotes. He shot the bigger of the two. The other ran off.The coloring was that of a coyote but the animals were large. He went to DEC who said " Wolf, coyote whats the difference".Why this DEC person has a job in conservation I can't figure. In 2002 The hunter took the hide to the Fish and Wildlife dept.They did DNA testing and confirmed that it was indeed a Gray Wolf.Gray Wolf come in a wide range of color.This one was colored just like a coyote.I talked with a woman who owns a shop in Old Forge. She has a picture of what appears to be a beautiful wolf. She claims that it is a wolf that lives near her home. For fear of her young child who like the Big doggy she called DEC. The person she talk to told her that if she knew someone that hunted coyote to have them SHOOT it.She contacted A higher up at DEC and told them what she was told.She learned later that that person was reprimanded for their remarks.She says DEC came and trapped the animal and took it some place else. Her claim is the animal found its way back to her area.
Heres the odd thing. Gray Wolves are not native to NY.Our only native wolf has been the Eastern Wolf. These wolves have been found to NOT be a sub species or cross of gray and Red wolf. New test show they are their own species.DEC claim is they would never introduce a non native animal to NY.With coyotes and coyote\ red wolf crosses living in NY there is no reason to introduce an animal non native to control the deer herd.Could these gray wolves come down from Canada? Possible . Are they feral grays? Again possible. Is DEC lying and they have released a non native animal??????Regardless they are here.If you see what you think is a gray wolf or any wolf. Enjoy the sight.

1 Like    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 4:00PM
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The gray wolf's early range extended as far dow nas virginia on the easter coast. Gray wolf, Timber wolf, eastern wolf... They are one and the same. Prarie wolves are much smaller because an animal with that much mass has a much higher surface area than a larger one, dispersing heat fater. Northern Canadian wolves are larger to help conserve heat, by the same principle. (this is probably irrelevant info, but it sort of means what i want...) the Grey wolf did once live throughout new york. But, the natural, pure stock of wolves has been shot, poisoned, and trapped out of the state. Its been proven, however, that a majority of "coyotes" have a traceable amount of Wolf DNA within them, resulting in a thinning line between wolf and coyote.

this is where stories of "wolves" in new york come from. They are not 100% pure wolf, nor pure coyote. they are somewhere in the middle, leaning more toward wolf because of breeding. The northeastern "coyote" is much, much larger than a western coyote. Often by twice as much.This is because over the years, coyotes and wolves have been breeding because of lack of a viable wolf population. Wolf DNA has been passing down through the generations, and the more widespread the breeding goes, the more chances that the coyote population will evolve/devolve back into the natural grey wolf. It is more commmon now to find a coyote wiht wolf dna than without. They are not quite either, but the same at once.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 1:17PM
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The question i find myself asking is this, if coyotes are surviving just fine in the Bronx, Central park, and now from what i hear Long Island, why couldnt wolves have migrated back to New York state? They are one of the most adaptable animals in the world and the most intelligent. They started out living all over the continent, so for their sake I hope they go back to that existence. I say bring on the wolves, I welcome them.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 11:20PM
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Dear Lynnenychemung:

I saw your writing on the New York State Forum page stating that you may have seen a wolf in your area. I am very interested in any information that you can provide, photos, videos or tracks would be of help.

Please feel free to contact me at anytime.

Wishing you all the best in both life & work,

Joseph S. Butera, President & Co-founder

The Northeast Ecological Recovery Society

P.O.Box 764

Floral Park, New York 11004

Website: www.adirondackwolf.org E-Mail: lorjoewolf@juno.com

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:46PM
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I agree with you whole-heartedly. I believe they are back in the northeast, but being killed by coyote hunters and others.

Joe Butera (NERS) www.adirondackwolf.org E-mail: lorjoewolf@juno.com

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 11:38PM
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I know there are wolves in NY state! I used to live in Saratoga county and my husband and I were driving home along the northway (87) in two cars. I was talking to him via a walkie talkie when he said "watch out for that wolf!" I looked to the left and HUGE dog was running across the road and I had to quickly swerve to the right lane to avoid hitting it. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw my husband who was already in the right lane swerving and this thing saw my husbands car and jumped to avoid being hit and cleared his car! There were 2 other vehicles behind us who witnessed this and all the cars involved pulled over at the next rest area. Combined with the people in the other cars there were 7 people who saw this and confirmed it was a wolf. I tell very view people this story because the people I have told think I was mistaken, but I know what I saw! They also found a carcass in Warran county I think it was, near the Sacandaga. The DEC said it was someones exotic pet. Although I have been told the DEC says that about any exotic animal (mountain lions) because if it was confirmed people would start hunting them.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 5:21PM
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I am in northern Franklin county. Once I saw a VERY large wolf-like dog near our treeline. It was too big and too wolf-like for me to think it was anything else. The other incident occurred last night. I was sleeping outside. There was a lot of canid activity: various packs of coy-dogs or coyotes on all sides of me, waking me up. Twice, though I heard an eerie low-toned howl. It was NOT a coy dog, NOT a coyote. All I know is that every hair stood straight up on the back of my neck, the sound was indescribable, and I was indoors faster than you can say CANE LUPO!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 8:14PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

Hi everyone, I did a little research on the wolf issue. It turns out that coyotes in the eastern half of the country are generally larger than there western cousins. There also a lot of coyote wolf mixes which from a distance are impossible to tell from a wolf. I believe this was all stated before. It is however possible to tell a wolf from close up but unless your an expert it might be kind of hard. I'm not saying it's an impossibility but it seems unlikely that there are true wolves in NY.

One other thing i'd like to say about mountain lions. THERE ARE MOUNTAIN LIONS IN NY. mountain lions travel very far. ex. a mountain lion from the genetic population in Utah turned up in chicago. a couple weeks ago there was a confirmed report of a mountain lion in Bergen county NJ it is believed that mountain lions never were extinct in the adirondacks and there have been many sightings of them in the park. Lately there were several confirmed sightings of mountain lion in the park and other places around upstate NY.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 8:19AM
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Confirmed, documented sightings have been quite rare. When I attended Cornell University from 1968-1972, my fraternity brothers and I rented an old farmhouse near Ludlowville, off Route 34. Our landlord, one of the local farmers, shot a timberwolf one winter evening. The wolf had been bothering the livestock in one of his barns. This particular animal, IIRC a large female, measured some 6 feet in length [from nose to tail]. It was the first wolf seen in the area since 1938, according to reports that appeared the next day in the local newspaper.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 5:18PM
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If moose can make it to Broome/Tioga County I see no reason why a wolf couldn't either.
For years folks were laughed at for claiming to see bear in the area. Now they are seen regularly thru out both counties.There's a whole lot of wooded area and abandoned farms in NYS. I have no doubts at all they any animal that once roamed these areas in abundance would have any problems at all re establishing itself and keeping itself hidden from the general human population.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 9:55PM
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We saw a wolf in our backyard in Ballston Lake NY (Saratoga County.) We live about one mile from I-87. It was daytime and it appeared to be in pursuit of something as it had it's tail straight down and it's long nose sniffing the ground. It was about 90-100 lbs. and it was gray with some brownish coloring. All our research say it was a wolf by all counts.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 7:49AM
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saw what at first I figured to be a fox near county road 14 and salt point turnpike in northern dutchess county, when I saw an identical figure about 100 yards north of the first I almost froze, both loaping through a cow pasture with kills in their mouths and both showing no signs of timidity, figure they had to be wolves, they were gray and sized like medium to large dogs, the fact that I saw two makes me figure they had to be wolves, first time I ever saw or even heard of any wolves around here, can it be true?, as anyone else seen them this far south?, I know a moose was involved in a motorcycle accident just north on the Taconic in 08, so anything is possible, but wolves?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 11:34PM
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Well, I'm not entirely sure if there are wolves in New York, but I'm willing to believe anything is possible. Even my parents and I seen a creature that looked like a wolf on the way back to Andover, NY from seeing my grandfather sometime in 2007-2008. Now I know what a coyote looks like and my parents do too, but this animal was bigger than a coyote and it was Smokey Grey in color. We've never seen a animal in NY that looked like this, it was standing in field by a small tree about maybe 50 ft. from the rode. This sighting was about one or two miles out of Dalton, NY. To this day I still don't know what is and as far as I know there hasn't been anymore sightings.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 9:44PM
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Hi, After reading here by several people who have seen wolves in NYS I now live in Va, but was born and raised in upstate NY, and all my children still live up there North of Tioga, and Potter Co's. In 2001 my oldest son who has hunted for yrs, and knows the diff between a coyote, and a wolf told me he had been returning through the woods in back of the house from bow hunting, and got chased up a tree by a pk of wolves! He said in his hurry to get up the tree he dropped the bow, and of all days not to have his cell phone with him! He said he had to stay up the tree with them down below him for quite awhile before they finally left, and he was able to get out of the tree, and get up to the house! I also would like to make a statement to those pondering if there really could be Mt Lions, or cougars, or what you care to call them? I personally saw 3 big cats running fast as if they were chasing one another, or something, across the Rd from my yrd! It was on a hill overlooking Elmira where I was, and a visitor and I were saying good by in the driveway when we both saw the 3 big cats. The cats were 2 all black, and the other one was tawney or orange brown coloring. Looked all 3 to be 150 + lbs each. They had long tails, and they ran up and behind the old barn there, and up into the woods back there. Both of us just looked at each other and couldn't believe what we had just seen! She wanted to go right up there to see if we could see tracks, etc, and yes there were all kind of big cat track there in the mud and dirt. Believe you me if I thought there would ever be such controversy today over them existing for real in upstate NY I'd of taken pictures of at least the tracks!!! I thought it was fairly common knowledge for people those parts to know the cats to be there as fact many yrs ago! Other neighbors there at times also saw one! One neighbor hunting in winter up in back saw something he thought at first was someones black dog, but as he looked closer at it he said it was a big black cat and it loped along thru the high snow there, and he said it had a long tail just as I'd told him I saw a yr or two prior! He became a believer. The people that lived in the house across the stree from me and who's land I'd seen those big cats, not too long after got to see the big tawney color one digging something up halfway between their pond and that barn I'd seen them by. They nolonger were disbelievers either! My brother in law had also one night been up visiting with us and had left to drive back down into the city to home. He called us as soon as he had got home pretty anxious and wanting to know what we had living up there on that hill? He said just down the Rd from our house he had seen a big light brown cat cross the Rd infront of his headlights, and he said as he slowed down to almost a stop to get a better look at there by the side of the Rd it snarled at him and went down into the woods there on our land. He kept on going and called us about it. He said it had a long tail and sure looked like a very big cat to him! Since it had just snowed earlier that eve, and had stopped snowing by the time he saw the cat my husband and I went up to the spot where he said he'd seen it the next morning! I took a ruler along to measure tracks, and right were he said he'd seen the cat there were big cat tracks in the snow. You could even see the marks between the paw tracks where it's tail had dragged in the snow! The tracks measured 5" across the pad, and they were clean,fresh track from the night before. That's a neighbor that saw a BBC also, and BIL that saw the light brown on at diff times, and yrs! I also my self heard one of them scream on 2 diff occ up there! My daughter also got a good up close look at the black one! Coming home on her 10 speed from visiting her friend up the Rd she said a big black cat with green eyes was just sitting there side the Rd not 50 yrds from our driveway. She said it just looked at her as she passed by it; she looked back over her shoulder at it, not believing what she had just saw, and she said it was just walking off into the tall grass there by the Rd. So, from my own experiences and my family, and others there who I trust to tell the truth, and didn't exagerate what seen I can tell you most deff there are BC's up there those areas, as well as gray wolf! I guess if you have never seen one you might not believe they are there, but once you do see one you know exactly what it is you saw! People still see big cats up in those counties; Chemung, tioga, steubin,Broome, so they very much are breeding, and a live and well. There were other sightings by me when I was younger I saw a tawney color one with a long tail getting a drink at the pond edge just down the Rd from my house then in Big Flats, just before dark. Another time back in the 1950's I was with my Dad and we went to where several men had a big black cat treed just before dark about 10 miles from our house! I don't know what happened with that cat as my dad and I left and went back home after we saw it up the tree! Another time not to many mi from that area I and my brother saw a big black one with a rabbit in it's mouth in a field. It saw us coming and dropped the rabbit and ran off. We found the dead rabbit there and the teeth marks fresh in it! So skeptics, or debunkers can say till the cows come home that NYS has no Big cats black or tawney, and I will tell them they do not know what they are talking about because I myself saw black ones, tawney ones, and know what exactly it was I did see, and it was not a domestic cat, nor a bob cat, nor a fisher, nor a jaguardi!!! Wake up folks, they are in Ny many yrs already!!!!! I just hope nobody winds up dead by one like in California or other areas this country.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 8:23PM
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I have seen them aswell here in the Adirondacks. I am half Mohawk from my mother's family and we have lived here since before Sir William Johnson arrived in this area. I've been told many stories about how my great grandfather, grandfather, father and so on have seen wolves while out hunting or fishing. I personally have heard the howls and have seen 3 solitary wolves but never a full pack. They may very well have been lone wolves that had traveled down from Canada in search of food or a new range to live in. This is well known that wolves will travel thousands of miles in search of food and territory through out seasons. I believe it is very possible that small packs of wolves may travel to our state from Canada. I would love to see the day when they could once again call NY home without fear of hunters and scared citizens gunning the down like they did in the 1800's. But I believe this should occur naturally and not be forced as it was in Yellowstone because the Adirondacks are wild and not a controlled natural preserve the way Yellowstone is. Seeing that the Adirondack park is the largest in the country and is over 6,000,000 acres I think the wolves would be capable of finding territory well away from populated areas. Another theory I have heard about wolf sightings could be from nature preserves and such here where they have been able to escape although I would imagine those individual wolves would be fitted with radio collars and so forth. My people were once brothers of the wolf and I for one would be overwhelmed with joy to see that beauty come back to our area. I appologize for the length of this reply because nature preservation is a large part of my ideals.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 9:50PM
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joyster(Z5b NY)

Nativepride, I was glad to read your post on the wolves. I feel the same way about letting nature take it course as long as we don't change things. I live near Lake Ontario and have not seen any here, just the deer, fox and coyote. We have 10 acers of hard wood and old pines that I walk through, quiet, to see nature.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 5:32AM
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2 Nights ago i went out back w/my husband to get some fresh air, I looked over to the woods on my right because i felt something watching me. I saw a very large head grayish/black (little bit smaller than a full size bear)-with flourescent blue eyes looking at me. I freaked out -pushed my husband into the doorway-told him there was something big in the woods. It got spooked and jumped in the air and took of through the woods. I've seen coyotes -this was not a coyote-possibly a mix breed...but it was very large i would say 100-130lbs. Because the next day i looked aroung where it was and it broke small tress and left quite a bit of destruction in its path. Does anyone know what breed has blue eyes that glow in the nighttime????Very scared ..in ny. please email me at alitzen@hotmail.com

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 1:03PM
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I was up to Big Moose Lake last month and in the early mornings you could very clearly hear the wolves howling. Very cool!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 9:08PM
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I was hiking through Doodletown in Harriman State Park last weekend. Something was chasing deer through the abandoned town. I wasn't quick enough to get a front view, but I got it's hind end.... Looked close enough like a wolf to me. Can't use my Dynamic DNS link to my web page, so let's hope my IP doesn't change soon. FYI, it's camerabob.dynamic DNS.org/...... I'm not selling a thing ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 2:08PM
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bernd ny zone5

That one looks like a German shepherd dog to me. I got sniffed on by one today at a local nursery, and therefore remember well to compare the animal in your picture against. Perhaps that one belongs to a local farmer?
Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 4:59PM
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Two things about your observation that I don't quite agree with:
1) The coloring. I've yet to see a German shepherd with uniform coloring. They USUALLY (I may not have seen them all!) have brown coats with large black patches. This one is a uniform color.
2) The tail. German shepherds usually have skinnier, arched tails. This guy's tail is large and round and straight. When I saw it from the front, It in no way seemed to be a dog to me, but I was startled and may be off on that point.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:13AM
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I spotted a wolf while driving along Route 16 leaving Norwich, NY a few days ago. It was crossing the road and I came close to hitting it. At first I thought it was a coyote but it's about the height of my lab so probably a wolf.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 7:58PM
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bernd ny zone5

Please Google for 'coyotes have wolf dna' for details.
I do not recall the exact references, but here is a summary I read last week about two university studies which agreed in this :

- there are different coyotes in the Northeast. The smaller ones immigrated via Pennsylvania. The larger ones immigrated into the Northeast via Canada and mated with wolves. These larger coyotes are as big as German shepherds and have about 20% of their DNA from wolves. That means wolves have sneaked back in via coyotes.

- via DNA one wolf caught/killed in the NE was actually a wolf. It is not known yet whether it was an escaped pet.
- coydogs do not exist. There was no dog DNA in any of the coyotes caught/killed.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:13PM
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I just googled "wolves in NY" and found this sight to confirm what I now know to be the case. To my amazement, I too saw a wolf last weekend in upstate NY, between Minisink and Westtown, just 2 hours from New York City! It was a solitary large grey wolf about the size of a full grown German Shepherd,who ran about 30 yards distance from us, through the small wood in the back of my property just before dust. He paid us no mind, just weaved between the trees and vanished. We had heard howling at night on several occasions off in the distance, but had assumed it was merely coyote,however we now realized that this was more likely the source of the haunting calls in the middle of the night.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 11:30AM
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My little opinion: As fascinating as this all sounds to me, being a nature lover, ecologist, and native of Western NY, I am very skeptical about these reports. Firstly, wolves are gregarious, and are rarely seen alone --- they travel and HUNT in packs of 2-8 individuals, but according to the DEC website, the groups can be as large as 20 animals. (Notice how all the reports are of solitary animals??) AND despite being shy, they are VERY inquisitive toward humans. A former professor of mine (and excellent naturalist), once told me about a pack of wolves in Alaska approaching him, to within a distance of 20 feet -- so I don't buy the "they are shy" bit. If there were packs roaming around in NY, there would be no question about their presence....farmers would be reporting the killing of large stock (eg: cattle, sheep), NOT geese, which anything can kill. Cougars are solitary animals, and therefore, would escape detection much more effectively, so wolves are not really comparable to cougars in NY. Actually, as much as I would love for the wolf to be restored to some of its original range, I fear that if wolves do come back to the region, the hunters would be lining up to shoot them.

Here is a link that might be useful: DEC website (source)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 5:40PM
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While driving home on the East River Road just north of Earlville, NY, a very large coyote sprinted across the road and jumped the bank. With my lights on the animal, it looked like a wolf.

This has sparked the debate in our house and led me to this post looking for evidence as to whether or not it could have been a wolf, or a crossbreed, as my son claimed.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 10:17AM
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We have a wolf that comes into our yard on a regular basis. I have two LARGE dogs and the wolf is bigger than my largest male. We have about 20-30 deer daily walking through our back yard to get to the revine. We woke up to a wolf howling two nights ago outside our bedroom window. THe dogs were so scared they didn't bark, or get up to see what was going on. Sure enough we had tracks going through the yard. My husband has lived here for 50 yrs and said that it was definatly a wolf.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 2:01PM
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Today, this being 01/30/2011 My wife and I were on I-90 about 10 miles east of Syracuse when we observed what is unmistakenly, without a doubt a gray wolf. There was/is no doubt in my mind and there was enough traffic that we could NOT have been the only ones to see it. The area was very close to the wildlife refuge off of I-90 and I wonder if wolves were relocated there.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 3:05PM
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I was once an active sportsman, with the license to prove it! Anyway, I was just above the 3500ft line about 3/4 mile off the trail at my deer stand back in 2000. This was on one of the taller "peaks" (hint hint) in the Catskills. It was just beginning to be daylight out when I scanned the horizon with my scope. I saw near a slow moving stream about maybe 150 vertical feet below me and maybe 1000 ft away what appeared to be three or four coyotes drinking. I left it at that, didn't see any deer that day and headed back down the mountain. Before doing so I decided to climb down to where I saw the Coyotes...after being joined by fellow hunters we studied the tracks and kept thinking the tracks were really large for a coyote. Two weeks later, my uncle tracked a wounded deer that he had shot in the same area. When he caught up to the deer, it was being attacked by three or four wolves. He has a coyote mounted in his game room, so he knows a thing or two. He was willing to consider them being Coydogs, like a German Shepherd mix, but was thoroughly convinced he was right. He fired a warning shot in the air and the wolves dispersed.

Maybe a couple of months later there was talk locally of livestock kills in the area, which was unheard of for years. The papers caught wind of it, theories of everything from the chupacabra to the mountain lion were discussed, but the DEC themselves found the attacks to be consistent with large, or very large packs of coyotes or other unknown canine species.

I think there are isolated populations of wolves throughout the state. The DEC would have you think not, but the fact is, wolves exist to the north and not too far to the West, and it is not entirely outside the realm of possibility for them to have migrated. Years ago, wolves existed in force in NY.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 12:32AM
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dear mntracy what an -ss YOU are! your snarky sarcastic know it all response was totally uncalled for. What are you waiting for for us all to say OOOOH! what a smart guy? I live not too far from the woman who said she saw what she thought was a wolf. Now it may have been an eastern coyote BUT it could have indeed been a wolf.When I was in college for my conservation degree we visited a rehab in western NY that did have wolves not too far from where she said she saw them. As escapes are not unheard of and people own all manner of wildlife as pets, someone's (pet) may have escaped.If you can't be civil don't blog as you just showed us all what an ignorant piece of work you are.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 6:53PM
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Located in Clayton, New York. About fifteen minutes from Watertown, New York. Not too from Cananda either. Couple of days ago, I saw a wolf walking through my backyard. Live in an area where it's pretty secluded. There are bobcats, coyotes, deer, turkey-- you name it, I've probably seen it in my backyard. I've seen wolves up in the Tug Hill area, years ago... but never have I seen a wolf in Clayton... specially during the day. There's no doubt in my mind that it was a wolf. Been around enough wildlife to know what it was. I'm thinking there's more than one because I have heard a different kind of howling (not coyote or regular dog; which I do hear every night) that was coming from a few animals. Heard them chasing something the other night. This kind of disturbs me as I have a golden retriever that is absolutely clueless and thinks all our wildlife want to play with him.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 4:16PM
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My wife drives to a road in our area that she walks every day for the past 6 years. She usually takes our 2 boxers which are around 90 lbs. each. As she was returning to her car, she was startled by a dozen deer that were running right past her at full speed. A minute later she saw a large animal standing at the tree line within 50 feet of her. We have large dogs and this animal was larger than them. It was large, bushy tailed, long legs, multiple shades of gray and she is convinced it was a wolf. We have coyotes in the woods behind our house and are well aware of their size, color and features. She is also sure this was not a Husky or German Shepard. Unless someone in WNY has a pet wolf they let run lose in our area, she saw a wolf. I've contacted the DEC and hope to hear from them soon. I'm sure they'll say it was a dog or coyote.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 8:34AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

It doesn't really matter if you see or have seen a wolf, coyote or hybrid. What matters is that people post politely. This is a public, CONGENIAL forum to exchange and share ideas and information so If you want to blast someone do it privately. Don't be offensive to everyone else.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 7:14AM
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As I thought. The DEC assured me it is a coyote because all wolves are extinct in NYS. Unless of course a pet wolf has gotten loose. Who has pet wolves in WNY??
I'll do my best to get a picture. The area in question is well secluded and POSTED. Best part, it's state land. Will the DEC eat crow if I get a picture of an extinct Wolf on State Land.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 2:46PM
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On four different occasions in the past 30 years I have seen wolves crossing the road: once near Boonville, NY, once closer to Watertown, NY and twice in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. I've also seen coyotes near Fort Drum/Watertown, NY; there is a noticeable difference in size and appearance between wolves and coyotes. The wolves I saw were 1+1/2 to 2 times larger than a German Shepherd, had very long legs, were well built with thick dark to medium grey coats, and had long bushy tails. They ran effortlessly with a wild grace, a thrill to see.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 9:58PM
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My wife and I have seen a wolf here in East Aurora NY, about 15 miles from Buffalo. We have spotted them 4x and I hope to get a picture soon. Maybe it is a hybrid, but seems to big for a coyote.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 12:30PM
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Okay, so I live in Franklin County, NY, and yes, in a sense, there are wolves. For years, there have been packs of wolf-like animals with reddish fur roaming the woods around my house. There are large packs of them. Years ago, many people called them coydogs. That was back when they thought the animals were created by coyotes breeding with dogs. This turned out to be untrue, though the term coydog is still used frequently.
After that faze, many people believed that these animals were purebred coyotes, which is also untrue. They are, in fact, descendents of the eastern red wolf, and coyotes have bred themselves into the DNA chain through the years. So yes, they are wolves. Most of the ones in northern New York have a red tint to their fur, though recently, more and more have been seen bearing pure silver and dark grey fur.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:56PM
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This seems to be the latest study I've found on this. It's pretty much what I've read in the past . I hope it works

Here is a link that might be useful: wolves in Ny

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 6:38PM
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I have been taking care of the same property for ten years in orange county ny im at the base of storm king mountain in cornwall just a few miles from the bear mountain bridge last week on my property there was a pack of 4 all big i was up a hill 2 of them stoped and took a good look at me after about 15 seconds i jumped into my john deer gator and chased them off the property up into the mountain all 4 were consistant in color it was the biege in a german shepard or the color of mountan lion ther hind quarters were three in half feet tall while the tip of the ear being four feet

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:34PM
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I work in Ossining NY which is below the large wooded area of the croton watershed. The place where I work has large amounts of wild life on the wooded property. This afternoon at 5:15 I saw a sizable animal running across the field. It ran about a hundred feet away from me. I was shocked to see what appears to be a wolf. This evening I did Internet seaches and I am sure that the grey colored animal that looked like a canine was indeed a wolf in westchester county new york.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:10PM
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On August 5, 2011 at about 4:30 pm I spotted a large gray animal that looked like a wolf on Stormytown Road just off route 9A.

The animal ran across the road from north to the south into a wooded area.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 1:47PM
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On August 2, 2011 around 10:00PM I think I saw a grey wolf on 9J, between Rensselaer and Castleton. It was too large to be a coyote and it was definitely not a domestic dog.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 6:09PM
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I've lived and hunted in upstate NY for all of my 73 years (the last 50 in rural Chenango Co)--in that time I've seen turkeys, black bears, otters, falcons, moose and coyotes make a comeback due to either DEC releases or migration for other areas. Also I've heard a lot of reports by laymen of wolves and mountain lions. I'm of the opinion that (1) those people that have these sightings do not know what they are looking at(i.e have never seen the animal in the wild) or are confused by size/color (the animal is actually smaller than the sighter thinks it is). This is especially true of wolves--but could also hold true for mt. lions. There is no question that the Eastern coyote is a wolf/coyote cross and, through random breeding, some individuals closely resemble wolves. I suggest that most of those above who have seen a "wolf" have, in fact, seen a coyote--a large one perhaps but a coyote nonetheless. Having seen both large and small specimens of this species I can attest that they vary a great deal in both size and color. Seeing one in flight it is very easy to mistake the size with nothing to compare it to but it is also easy to miss the telltale distinction between canines that make a wolf a wolf and a coyote a coyote. That is not to say there may not be wolves in NY--I know people that have had them as pets (you can buy full or cross-bred ones--check the Internet)and these could well have escaped or been turned lose. Likewise there is always the chance that one could have wandered in from Ontario via the Adirondacks--see link below which offers the latest on this. But until there are DEC naturalists that can confirm breeding populations I remain skeptical of layman sightings. While we--and I'm including myself in this--would like to believe that the wild places in the NE are populated by returning predator species, the truth is that the area is just too small and the prey to sparse to support either wolves or mt. lions.

Here is a link that might be useful: wolves in NY

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 12:52PM
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We live just North of Cobleskill, NY on Settles Mtn. My wife was cutting an open field on large riding mower when a huge wolf or coy-wolf actually ran beside the mower before running into the woods. I saw him one morning on berm behind our house, the sun was shining on him and he was very beautiful with large grey head/main. He was gone before I could get my camera. My wife has seen him several times and I saw him last night in the headlights of my car as I was coming in my long driveway, running across the driveway with his tail down. About a month ago the noon whistle from Cobleskill (3 miles away) sounded and behind the house in the woods, we could hear a couple young howling. We have seen coyotes but they are thin and mostly cinnamon in color and look like medium-sized dogs. A few years ago I found a huge animal track near my barn. The farm next door has lots of sheep and the sheep & sheep dogs go crazy every once in a while at night. DEC will deny that there are any wolves in our area, but we talked with an older woman in Schoharie and she said they are coy-wolves as she had seen them numerous times in the Schoharie Valley.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 8:12PM
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Saw what looked like a white wolf walking along side the Palisades Parkway while driving home at night. It looked big and the white seemed to stand out on.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 3:55AM
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I'm from the Orange County NY area and I have heard the countless stories from the "Ol' Timers". I spoke to this one man from my hunting club who spoke of wolves roaming this area when he was young boy and he still feels that they are around here. He says that they are very sneaky and can hide very well from human contact. I didn't believe this man until now! I have many coyotes around me, I grew up watching these beautiful animals and listening to them all night some nights. I used to watch them walk around all the time. I once had left my window open one night to take in the sounds of wildlife and I got more than I bargained for. I heard what sounded like a pure wolf howl no yipping or yelping a pure deep howl it made my hair stand up and I shot out of bed to see if I could get a good look, all I heard was some branches and twigs and leafs rustling in the woods and it sounded bigger than when the coyotes run around but, it was pitch black outside and I couldn't see anything. I barely have any neighbors I am straight in the middle of the woods. I did my research before this experience and this was not a coyote. After the experience I told that same ol' man about my experience and he didn't say anything he just smiled it was like something out of a book or movie. I know what I heard I believe it was a wolf. It has been a year-and-a-half now, but I still hope to run into this wolf again and prove they are here they may not be a lot of them, but they are here. There has been plenty of reports of wolves here and farther upstate as well. Thank You for your time.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 8:35PM
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I was driving slowly on a slippery NY rt 22 between Berlin and Cherry Plain last night about 10PM. When I came up on a large wolf walking along the road. It ran off from my headlights. I hear this is unusual behavior for a wolf, however I know it was a wolf from friends who had them for pets in New Mexico. I have a 120 lb German Shepherd, and this animal was close to that size, but the standard Gray Wolf coloring.
I live in east Rensselaer County. We have coyotes and fox, but this was not them.
It was beautiful and surreal. I would love to know anyone else in my area who has sited the Gray Wolf.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 10:54AM
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I reside in New Rochelle (Westchester County. Spotted three wolves, reddish in color, running through residential neighborhood this afternoon. WILD

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:57PM
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schoharie county here just got this picture and a video of this guy on one of my trail cameras.. this is a coyote correct? not 100% sure just becasue of the size..

also got this bobcat have a video as well

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 5:29PM
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On three occasions I've seen a wolf or wolves here in Western New York. The first was on Lake Erie during January of 2007, I spotted one trotting about 200 yards off the Hamburg coast. The owner of the house had a pair of high powered binoculars with a bench mounted tripod, and we were able to observe the animal for several minutes under clear daylight conditions. It was grey, with thick fur, and was trotting unconcernedly towards the south.

My host called DEC and they assured him that what we saw must have been a dog or a coyote, since there are no wolves in New York State.

The second time I was driving up Yanke Road in the Town of Ischua, Allegany County, just after dusk, in January of 2009, when I spotted three in my headlights near the road. They were big, 50-70 lb. each, and quickly vanished into the brush as I approached.

The third time was later that same evening, near Cuba Lake, while heading into the village with a friend and his son, I saw a very large one in an open field. They saw a second one which I didn't see. Since this was only about three miles from the first sighting, they might have been part of the same group. We all agreed that they were wolves.

These are not coyotes as I have lived out west and seen coyotes many times. Coyotes are much smaller (about 35 lb.) and have darker, scruffier coats.

If you are skeptical, you can look at this video that my friend took when he encountered one when he was out hunting. He calls it a coyote but I would call it a wolf. Judge for yourself.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 7:17PM
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We live in Coventryville between State Rtes 206 & 41 and have seen what we believe is a RED wolf twice this past weekend. 1st time was driving on rte 206 (approx 3 miles before our road) @ 9:50pm when I pointed out what I thought was a dog crossing in front of us. Then I saw the tail & said "oh, it's a red fox". Well, let me tell you, we have never seen a red fox that big OR one that could clear a guardrail! The next day around 3pm, (7 degees & windy but sunny) I let my 23LB Shiba Inu dog out our french doors & she immediately went to the top step of deck & assumed her "attack pose." I did not see anything for a full 2 min. My dog then went into her "high alert" pose and the wolf(? ) emerged from woods. It had a stare down w my dog till she went running at top speed towards it. The thing never moved...just stood there glaring & waiting for my dog to reach it. It only moved when I opened the storm door & yelled. It was much leaner than coyotes we've seen in the hip/stomach area, both longer & taller & was mostly dark red w/ areas of black fur on face, neck, back and tail. Spoke to a friend who lives 5 miles away & he has been seeing deer really chewed up like he hasn't seen before in his woods. He is an avid nature-lover/ hunter who owns a heavily wooded property also on a quiet rural rd. Is it possible it has come here due to our increased coyote population and our ample deer???

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:37PM
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The presence of Gray Wolves has been confirmed in Western Mass. Why do some of you insist it's not possible in NY? I live in Rensselaer County, NY, which by the way is a mere 30 minute drive to The Berkshires, which just happens to be Western Massachusetts. If you don't agree, do so without insulting other members.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:41PM
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What an incredible video of a beautiful wolf, I have seen a coyote once and it wasnt as big or as handsome as wolfs are, YES wolfs are definitely here in NY

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:24AM
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Coyotestink, of course there cannot be wolves in New York even if they are in Western Massachusetts! I mean, state lines are clearly printed on the soil and a wolf would NEVER cross a state line without getting proper authorization first!

1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 1:34PM
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Oedhel Setren

FYI for all the people who are certain there are no wolves in NYS, there have been a number of relocation efforts to bring wolves back into the state. There are a number of start up populations that are PROTECTED. Not only have we found that they are essential to keeping prey populations down, but they keep lesser predators like coyotes at bay.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2015 at 5:31AM
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