If it looks like a wolf, acts like a wolf, and is as big as a wolf, why is it a coyote? In the past few years a number of “wolves” have been killed by coyote hunters in the Northern Lower Peninsula. There hasn’t been a “stink” raised about it, because the Department Of Natural Resources has done DNA testing and determined these wolves are a hybrid cross between a wolf and a coyote. It matters not to them that these (so called coyotes) are more than twice the size of a coyote, and have all the features of a wolf.
Dennis Fijalkowski of the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy has his own theory about “when a wolf is not a wolf!” He stated “The DNR does not have the money to manage a wolf population in the lower peninsula, and they don’t want the social problems they’ll get if wolves start eating pets and scaring people. So they’ll call them coyotes in the lower peninsula and let hunters shoot them and eliminate the problem.” There are many in the state who agree with Dennis, as these (hybrids) have all been located within 100 miles of the Upper Peninsula, which has a well established population of grey wolves. Fijalkowski also noted that a female coyote will weigh between 25-35 pounds. One of the wolves trapped by the DNR was a young female that weighed 74 pounds. He stated “No matter what the DNR says that’s a wolf!”
In a recent article in the Detroit Free Press there has been a growing concern over coyotes in the suburbs. They have become less afraid of humans, and grow bolder as their natural fear subsides. Your livestock and family pets are on their menu, and its just a matter of time before a small child makes that list. It’s already happened in other states (especially California) and recently a child was killed by coyotes. The report goes on further to say the coyotes are even interbreeding with dogs as they share much of the same genes. Wolves, coyotes, dogs interbreeding and roaming our woodlots and neighborhoods. To me that does not sound like a healthy environment for small children to be turned loose in! Just three weeks ago I was on a golf course, just outside the Monroe City limits, when a pack of coyotes entered the fairways. This was in broad daylight, and golfers had to yell at them before they retreated to some thick cover along the railroad tracks. A pack of coyotes weighing an average of 35-40 pounds can seem a little unnerving, but can you imagine a pack of hybrid wolves/coyotes weighing between 75-100 pounds looking at you and licking their lips? That scenario may well play out in the ”not to distant future” if the powers that be continue to ignore the problem!