Wolf Or Coyote Pictured Near Two Harbors? DNR Biologists Weigh In
People have been arguing in a North Shore Facebook group on whether or not this animal pictured is a wolf or a coyote. It can be hard to tell sometimes, especially depending on the quality of the picture. There are several differences between wolves and coyotes. Wolves are bigger, but bigger coyotes could be mistaken for a smaller wolves or vice versa.
Coyotes in Minnesota average about 25 pounds for females, and males average around 30 pounds. They are sleeker, and lighter on their feet. Coyotes yip, while wolves howl.
Coyotes also have heavy long coarse hair. They resemble a small, lean German shepherd with a bottle-shaped tail, according to the Minnesota DNR. Coyotes also don't have a very long lifespan in Minnesota. They typically don't live past 2 years old. 4,000 coyotes are trapped or shot each year in Minnesota.
The Voyageur Wolf Project shared some footage of coyotes versus wolves from one of their cameras. This is a coyote in summertime:
Here's a picture of a similarly colored wolf taken near the same time in the same location.
As you can see, the wolf is much taller, bigger, and to be honest looks a lot more menacing with that face. They also superimposed the footage together so you can see how they compare if they were standing next to each other.
Betsy took this photo near Two Harbors. She was asking if people knew if it was a wolf or a coyote. Some people claimed it would be dumb for someone to think it was a wolf. I talked with some contacts at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. When I asked them, they actually needed to contact their biologists to be sure, because it's not that easy to tell in the picture.
However, I did get an answer a few days later. Several of their biologists agree that it is indeed a coyote. So hopefully now with this information, it can help you identify when you see a wolf or a coyote.