Wolf Sighting in Colorado

Probable Wolf Sighted in Colorado
Here is a screen capture image from the video that was taken from a possible wolf sighting in Colorado

PROBABLE WOLF SIGHTING ALONG COLORADO WYOMING BORDER

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is reminding residents to quickly report any potential wolf sightings. Though a majority of the sightings are coyotes, dogs, or other animals, a recent report in north-central Colorado’s North Park area appears to have some merit.

On Feb. 16, district wildlife managers with the DOW were able to capture brief video of a suspected wolf. The DOW was able to observe the animal because a landowner quickly reported seeing it about 10 miles south of the Colorado-Wyoming border north of the community of Walden. Biologists and wolf specialists who have examined the video say the animal seen on tape looks and behaves like a wolf.

“There’s really no way to be absolutely sure just by looking at an animal, and even genetic testing isn’t 100% reliable” said Gary Skiba, Senior Wildlife Conservation Biologist and DOW coordinator for the state’s Wolf Management Working Group.

The animal on the video tape had no visible tags or collars. Such indicators could more easily link the animal to federal efforts to reintroduce the northern gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Many offspring wolves lack any markings, but so do wolf-dog hybrids that could also be in the wild.

Reports from southern Wyoming indicate that this same animal was spotted approximately eight miles north of the border several days before and after the North Park video was filmed. It is possible that the animal is searching to establish territory or looking for a mate along the Colorado-Wyoming border.

Whether the North Park animal is a wolf or a hybrid, and whether it stayed in Colorado, doesn’t affect the way the state handles wolves that migrate into Colorado. Wolves are currently managed under federal law due to their status as an endangered species. The Colorado Wildlife Commission adopted a comprehensive plan for migrating wolves in 2005, but it will only take effect when the wolf is removed from federal protection.

Something Else You Might Like:

Share

76 Comments on "Wolf Sighting in Colorado"

  1. Hillbilly Al Canada says:

    Born in a small town , and going out to the wilds every year to hunt and fish. I,ve only seen wolfs twice . Once was hunting with a buddy,we had just drove out a side logging to a clearing. My buddy said look theres a wolf ,when I looked across a clearing there he was ,Ithougt it was cool to see it .My hunting buddy said stop as he wanted to shoot it ,I said no , one thing you need a tag ,which costs $50.00 non B.C. reident, as he was from up north were they shoot wolfs every year he tells me.So we watched the wolf run off. I think it was a good thing if I told my wife we shot a wolf ,I would never hear the end of it .As we have a husky, Wolf ,Germany sheperd dog at home , which has been a great bush dog.Always been a good wolf dog ,with kids never biten anyone . The other time I seen a wolf was a few miles from were I saw the first one . I was camping with family,and got up at six in the morning and looked out my camper window and saw a big black wolf . She looked like a female ,as soon as iI opened the door , she run fast away. I was gald because I didn’t want my dog to see her go after her as he is a male dog.

  2. TJ says:

    It has been widely discussed whether a healthy wild wolf has ever attacked a human on this continent. In fact, many say such attacks have never occurred in North America. Well, 70 years is a long time and people forget, time heals all wounds etc etc….
    History states otherwise. Although attacks on humans are uncommon, they have occurred on this continent, both in the early years of settlement and more recently.

    http://www.aws.vcn.com/wolf_attacks_on_humans.html

    http://blog.kingsoutdoorworld.com/2006/09/13/six-people-injured-by-wolf-attack/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID1CNsdw4NA

    http://www.wildsentry.org/WolfAttack.html

    Wolves must be managed, just like any other predator or game animal. In fact, more so. The only predator the wolf has, is human. This can be achieved only two ways. By allowing seasonal hunting and for ranchers to proactively defend thier livestock.

    In a pack, wolves fear nothing.

    The think otherwise is to be naive.

    Besides, this is a young country with much less history of co-habitation with the wolf.
    Europe

    In Scotland, during the reign of James VI, wolves were considered such a threat to travellers that special houses called “spittals” were erected on the highways for protection.[1] The people of the Scottish Highlands used to bury their dead on offshore islands to avoid having the bodies eaten by wolves.[2] In Imperial Russia 1890, a document was produced stating that 161 people had been killed by wolves in 1871.[1] During the First World War, starving wolves had amassed in great numbers in Kovno and began attacking Imperial Russian and Imperial German fighting forces, causing the two fighting armies to form a temporary truce to fight off the animals.[3]

    A hypothesis as to why wolves in Eurasia act more aggressively toward humans than those in North America is that in the past, Old World wolf hunting was mostly an activity for the nobility, whereas American wolf hunts were partaken by ordinary citizens, nearly all of them possessing firearms. This difference could have caused American wolves to be more fearful of humans, making them less willing to venture into settled areas.[4]

    Nevertheless, with the exception of one attack on a French shepherd in 2001,[5] modern Western Europe has had very few attacks and no recent fatalities. “Lupus,” a German group of wildlife biologists says it has documented 250 encounters between people and wolves in the Lusatia region and there were no problems in any of the cases.[6]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_wolf_attacks

    North America

    Though most Native American tribes revered wolves, their oral history does confirm that they were in fact on occasion attacked by wolves long before the arrival of European settlers. Woodland Indians were usually the most at risk, as they would often encounter wolves suddenly and at close quarters. An old Nunamiut hunter once said in an interview with author Barry Lopez that wolves used to attack his people, until the introduction of firearms, at which point the attacks ceased.[7]
    Reminds me of the old adage, “walk softly and carry a big stick”. A boomstick that is.

    Causes

    Habitat loss can cause the wolf’s natural prey to diminish and thus cause the local wolves to turn to attacking livestock or on some rare occasions, even people. Close proximity to humans may also cause habituation. In this case, wolves lose their fear of humans and consequently approach too close. Habituation usually happens when people encourage wolves to come up to them, usually by offering them food, or when people do not sufficiently intimidate wolves. Habituation can also occur accidentally. With unrestricted hunting, forest clearing and intensive livestock grazing there is little natural prey, therefore forcing the wolves to feed on domestic animals and garbage, thus bringing them in close proximity to humans. However, wild wolves are often timid around humans, and usually try to avoid contact with them, to the point of even abandoning their kills when an approaching human is detected.[15]

    From what I have read, human populations are only going to increase exponentially in the future. There will most definately be more habituation.
    Either control the number of wolves or the number of humans. It is that simple.

    Also, last summer while hiking the Western U.S. forests, I actually saw a posted recommendation, that if you were going to camp, to do so only in hard-shell, not a tent. Such as a camper or trailer etc….. I, for one, grew up with no wolves in the back country. Yes, they are beautiful, but so are Cougars, Wolverines and Bears.

    Fortunately and finally, the wolf is now de-listed in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. The power to regulate now falls within each States jurisdiction.

    I for one, will continue to carry my 357Mag and my 45-70 to alleviate any and all such threats when I travel the back country of our lands.

    And bill S.2616 best pass or I will never get to see Yellowstone.
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas

  3. Mal Shepard says:

    “Although (wolf) attacks on humans are uncommon, they have occurred on this continent, both in the early years of settlement and more recently.”

    TJ, you should realize that many local newspapers in the 19th centrury were in the habit of printing sensationalistic fictional stories for entertainment value. For example, there were many stories of bigfoot encounters from that era that nobody takes seriously because of the known sensationalism and dishonesty of papers from that time period.

    The fact is that there has been only one probable wolf-caused death in North America (and even that case isn’t completely conclusive). Now, contrast that with the 19 documented cases of people who were killed by mountain lions in North America since 1890. Or the more than 52 documented human fatalities caused by black bear attacks. Does it make sense to hate the wolf and call for its extermination, while at the same time accepting large populations of these other predators in our forests?

    Also consider that nearly 5 million people are attacked by domesticated dogs in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 26 people are killed each year by domesticated dogs and over 800,000 require serious medical attention.

    I have to laugh at the people who are afraid of wolves. How many of these people who claim that they are afraid of wolves even give a second thought to walking through their neighborhood? You are literally many millions of times more likely to be attacked by a dog in your own neighborhood than by a wolf in the wilderness. It is so laughably irrational. I can’t believe that anybody would use that as an excuse for why wolves must be exterminated or aggressively controled.

    I am also sick of some wolf-haters acting as if all rural people share their biased and irrational view of the wolf. I was born and raised in the White Mountains of Arizona very near the Mexican wolf recovery area. I hike and fish in the wolf inhabited country all the time. I am a rural person. I have talked to more people in this area who support the return of the wolf than those who oppose it. The vociferous anti-wolf crowd always try to paint the picture of them being the majority but it just isn’t true. Several independent polls have shown that a majority of people in the wolf recovery area are in favor of returning the wolf to our ecosystem.

    Whereas 80% of city residents might favor the restoration of the wolf, 50 or 60% percent of rural people might be in favor. So, it’s true that there are more people in rural areas that are opposed to the wolf but it isn’t because they know more about what they are talking about, as many of them like to believe. Quite the contrary, it has more to do with a certain ingrained cultural ignorance. You see, many of these people are intoxicated by the romance of the cowboy and visions of an untammed western frontier.

    Early ranchers, with the help of the federal government, killed off many predator species, and these modern day “cowboys” refuse to believe that the tradition which they cherish so much could possibly have made a mistake when they killed off species such as the wolf. Thus, they continue in their traditional hatred of the wolf, despite all the mountains of evidence that show the vital role that wolves play in a healthy ecosystem.

  4. Hop says:

    I’m a Colorado kid through and through (well, an old kid now).

    1) I believe there are (some) wolves in Colorado, and it is political spin (hello, DOW) to state there are not.

    2) I believe wolves do target and attack livestock, and it is ignorant to claim they do not.

    3) I believe wolves can be dangerous to humans, and it is naive to think they can not.

    It’s too bad that it will always be the case that some people will make sensible thinking about certain ‘emotional’ issues an impossibility. ‘Animal rights’ is one such example. Progress cannot be made because people have made a religion out of saving animals (at any cost), rather than seeking a balanced approach. I think it validates a need they have for a sense of nobility. No responsible person would advocate wholesale slaughter of the wolves. Protection, however, is another matter entirely.

    I remember that Timothy Treadwell guy pleading the plight of the mistreated grizzly bears — until one ate him & his girlfriend. Let’s reason together, folks.

  5. jody says:

    We came over Gore Pass (Colorado) today, May 1,2008.
    We saw what we initially thought was a coyote but on slowing down and really getting a look, 5 of us believe that is was a wolf. Too large and very full coat and thick neck. Dark in color.
    Have there been any sightings in this area?

  6. jk says:

    I ran into a large wolf last wednesday hiking in the south san juans near the continental divide. i was so excited to see him first. then he saw me and scampered away. he seemed to be tracking me as i was doubling back through snow on a forest service road. his prints were near mine for 1/4 mile.

  7. j nelson says:

    I was backpacking on the Colorado Trail near Lake City, CO in 2005 when I looked up and saw what I would swear was a wolf run across the trail in front of me. It was large, dark in color with patches of lighter brown. I asked a couple of people in town if they thought there were wolves around, one said yes, one said no.

  8. Jessica says:

    Genetic testing isn’t accurate enough because wolves and dogs are so closely related. Canis Lupus (wolf) and Canis Lupus Familiaris (Domestic Dog) are technically considered to be of the same species (as of 1993) with dogs being a subspecies of the wolf. Therefore, they are nearly impossible to differentiate via DNA testing. This is why so many people with Wolf-Dogs get away with owning them in States where it may be illegal. It’s also the reason that “Hybrid” is actually an incorrect term for Wolf/Dog crosses, because “hybrid” implies the crossing of two different species.
    Could this be a wolf? Absolutely. Or it could be a Domestic Dog that looks remarkably like a wolf, or a Wolf-Dog mix. Behavior would be the main indicator here, along with the presence of other sightings.
    Personally, I hope it’s a wolf. We (as humans) seem to think that they should be contained within certain areas that we (humans) have designated for them. We tend to forget that they used to range across the ENTIRE country, and that humans lived among them for centuries before we decided to start wiping them out. Not only that but we WOULDN’T HAVE DOGS IF IT WEREN’T FOR WOLVES. Considering the Domestic Dog is directly related to them.
    While focusing on reporting sightings is important, education about the species in areas where they are reappearing is even more important. Simple understanding could save this beautiful creature’s life.

  9. JO says:

    ON MY WAY TO WORK OCT 23 I SAW 2 WOLVES TROTTING,FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD, ACROSS A FIELD THAT HAD MINIATURE DONKEYS GRAZING IN IT, I WAS TOTALLY SURPRISED, AND THRILLED TO THINK THAT WOLVES MIGHT BE IN OUR AREA. I LOVE AND RESPECT ALL WILDLIFE. I LIVE IN BELLVUE COLORADO ACROSS FROM A STATE PARK THAT BACKS UP TO NATIONAL FOREST. I’M PRETTY FAMILIAR WITH COYOTES BECAUSE WE HAVE LOTS IN OUR CANYON. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

  10. Dan O'Donnell says:

    I saw what appeared to be a wolf crossing I-70 between Vail Pass and Eisenhower Tunnel on Saturday 1/24/09 around 4 am. It moved with unbelievable speed and strength crossing each side of the road in two bounds hitting the top of the concrete median and then climbing the mountain on the north side of the highway about 100 yards before stopping and looking back. Maybe he was being chased by a mountain lion?

  11. C J Faust says:

    Tonight at about 8 P I saw what appeared to be a wolf on Mount Crested Butte. It was alone and standing near the ski resort base (just past Silver Queen lift). It sat quietly and watched me walk by but did not retreat. He was a large animal who looked healthy and well fed.

  12. Lismana says:

    I saw a wolf yesterday 4.25.09, in the foothills of loveland colorado, he was travelling down a remote road and I whistled to him to get him to look at me, he turned and started walking towards me (in my jeep)he was also large and healthy looking probally around 150 lbs, thick brown and black fur and a big beautiful face with haunting eyes…I’ll never forget this experience

  13. Michal says:

    Well I am thrilled to hear of the recent sightings. I know there is a Private Mexican Wolf Recovery just out side of Salida, CO. I have been there and seen them. What beautiful animals no matter how dangerous they may be. I have a lot of respect for any wild animal. If it wasn’t for the wolves howling one night in alert I wouldn’t have been alerted to the black bear close by our camp. I knew they bears were around but in the middle night I heard the wolves in the distance(We were safe in a motorhome). There is a wolf place in West Yellowstone, Idaho has a place to observe wolves and Grizzlies. There is also one just south of Rapid City, SD and you can drive among them and the bears. I think that is called “Bear Country”. 2 places I recommend where you can be real close and it is NOT zoo like!

  14. ka hiking says:

    My dog and I took a long hike on a common trail around Dillon Lake in between Breck and Frisco yesterday (sunday, 5/3). I was about an hour from the trailhead head at about 5pm , had an eerie feeling and looked up to my rt and not even a 100ft away was a creamy colored huge wolf/coyote (i didn’t see any others), i kept walking to see if it was following and in continued to get closer and closer (in a stalking position). i started to yell and then my dog started barking and the wolf/coyote started to howl/cry (loud, piercing cries). I took off to the water and saw the wolf/coyote pacing on the trail behind me-howling and crying for another 15 min. Eventually, it retreated. The animal looked to be very large and skinny, the size of an 70-100 lb animal.

  15. Trout Fisher says:

    While Trout fishing this past week on the Big Wood river in Idaho, north of Ketchum – Sun Valley, south of the Galena pass, I spotted and took pictures of a black wolf. It dawned on me that I had seen wolves several times while fishing out west. Last year in Yellowstone park in the northern section while fishing on the Lamar river we encountered a grey wolf standing on our path as we made our way back to our car.

    But surprisingly, I also saw a grey wolf on the Dolores river, north of Cortez near the town of Dolores, Colorado in 2006. My brother and I stoped along the side of the road to check out a potential fhishing spot, when to our surprise, standing on the bank of the river across the stream was a full bodied Grey Wolf.

    I have been an avid Trout Fisherman and small game hunter for over 35 years and have seen several “wild’ animals, including Black Bear, Grizzles, Moose, Elk, Buffalo and countless coyotes. The animal we saw in Colorado was unmistakenly a Grey wolf. There is no doubt in my mind.

    While others may not believe that a wolf would have migrated so far south in Colorado, so soon after being reintroduced into Yellowstone, I am absolutely convinced that the animal I spotted was a wol.

  16. Mike says:

    Wolves have been sighted and heard for the last seven years, by myself and others in the sierra Madres in southern Wyoming. Just north of Colorado. The Wyoming game and fish has denied this until recently. (one of their people spotted one). These wolves are taking a toll on the deer and elk. Beware Colorado, they are heading your way.

  17. will says:

    It’s really funny to listen to people argue about wolves. Let’s use common sense. If wolves do move into Colorado let’s manage them. When there populations get big enough let’s hunt em. It’ll be great sport just like coyote hunting. Did I mention I love predator hunting. Hey one more predator to hunt during the winter months would make my year. Hey Bill Smith I hunt with semi-automatics, single shots, recurves, long bows, bolt actions, crossbows, cedar arrows, and anything I can get my hands on. Hunting is the king of sports. The reality is GOD put the animals here for us to manage. We do a better job then mother nature could ever do. GOD gave animals instincts not mother nature. When prey animal numbers get low predators have smaller litters, and vice versa. No biologist will ever understand how this happens. I suspect their is a GOD and he designed these things to happen this way. Everything in nature was intelligently created by GOD. We are not intruders in this land. This land was given to us by GOD. Animals can live without man obviously. But GOD put them here for us to use ,and be entertained. Accept Jesus Christ into your heart and the same revelation as I do.

  18. mike says:

    I can’t say what anyone else has really seen or not. I personally have seen some pretty big coyotes that weren’t mangy looking at all. I watched one sit and clean himself in a clearing for about 5 minutes at a distance of 30 yards. I thought it was a wolf at first but it was a coyote. I know his general area and have seen him twice since. He was almost as big as a german shepard but definitely a coyote. I would say he weighs around 50 lbs but in the winter he looks bigger. Wolves and coyotes can look a lot alike. Especially on the run or if someone is all excited. I do agree though that they could be here. I doubt in LoneTree or western Arvada though. Not impossible but not likely. I would like to check these “wolves” out.

  19. mike says:

    Sorry for the double post.hehe It is possible that a few animals here and there leave thier normal ranges. There were several sightings of a Mountain lion in Louisville last summer and we get the occasional moose all the way down to Boulder.

  20. rod says:

    I say let about 100 or so loose in all the major cities of the u.s. and then see how much these tree huggers like them. They are killing for more than food. Lots of documented cases where elk are killed and NOT eaten. They are becomming less and less afraid of people because we cant shoot at them. they have figured this out and no longer run from humans. Bring them to colorado, we need more stuff to shoot at.

  21. Bobbi says:

    I’ve lived in CO my whole life. I have seen numerous coyotes; big, small, mangy, full coat….depends on what time of year it is, as all animals change w/ the seasons. November 15, 2009 I was driving home to Granby from Walden, down Hwy 125 & a black wolf crossed the road in front of me around mile marker 26. Way too huge to be a coyote & way to dark! Are wolves here in CO? Absolutely, we should quit denying that fact. Look @ the terrain CO has, it’s perfect for wolves to live in. Are they living in packs or breeding here yet? Probably not but who’s to say? In time we know they will be! All animals migrate & they don’t pay attention to the state lines. Due to the loss of our pine trees to the pine beetles, a lot of elk have started migrating away from the county I live in. It’s natural instinct for an animal to follow food source & habitat! My family has lived in the Mtn’s of CO for more than 80 yrs. We hunt, not for the fun but to feed our families! Do we get an elk or deer every year, not even close. Hunting is a lot like gambling, you pay for your tag & hope to get meat that will feed your family for the next yr. Wolves have to survive one way or the other. Do I believe they should eat livestock, no that’s a ranchers survival. I don’t think the wolves need “managed” or “controlled” as many people have commented. I do believe in a ranchers right to shoot if their livestock is in direct threat of a wolf attacking. However, I know coyotes attack livestock all the time. We lost 9 calves this past spring to coyotes. Why is everyone so worried about the wolf & looks past the coyote?

  22. Lindsay says:

    I SWEAR I saw a wolf today in Colorado! Masonville area

  23. Carolyn Vigil says:

    I did see a wolf crossing the Central City Parkway last week. Have there been sightings there? It was a brownish/gray wolf with a big fluffy tail. I have seen many coyotes and this was not anything like it.

  24. Reallity22 says:

    No reason why Colorado shouldn’t be spending there money on this non-endangered non-threatened killer…… It won’t be long and Colorado will be spending millions on this poor excuse of an animal…..and having their elk herds fall of the face of the earth (in the name of a heathy ecosystem!

  25. Ned says:

    A friend and I had backpacked a few miles up the Dolores river in late May or early June 2008. I was fishing along the banks and after working my way through some brush spotted a gray wolf headed downriver 10-15 yards away. I thought I was imagining things, but it was wet and there were plenty of tracks to substantiate my sighting.

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Wolf Crossing » Blog Archive » Wolf Sighting in Colorado

Got something to say? Go for it!