Posted on 2/2/14

wkoutdoors d 300WESTERN KY (9/6/13) – Federal officials recently confirmed that an animal taken by a hunter near Munfordville in Hart County on March 16 is a gray wolf.
A DNA analysis performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Wildlife Research Center in Colorado determined the 73-pound animal was a federally endangered gray wolf with a genetic makeup resembling wolves native to the Great Lakes Region. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Oregon confirmed the finding.
How the wolf found its way to a Munfordville hay ridge at daybreak in March remains a mystery. Wolves have been gone from the state since the mid-1800s.
Great Lakes Region wolf biologists said the animal's dental characteristics - a large amount of plaque on its teeth - suggest it may have spent some time in captivity. A largely carnivorous diet requiring the crushing of bone as they eat produces much less plaque on the teeth of wild wolves.
Hart County resident James Troyer took the animal with a shot from 100 yards away while predator hunting on his family's farm. Troyer, 31, said he had taken a coyote off the property just two weeks earlier.
But when he approached the downed animal he noticed it was much larger. "I was like - wow - that thing was big!" he recalled. "It looked like a wolf, but who is going to believe I shot a wolf?"
Because a free-ranging wolf has not been seen in the state for more than a century, biologists were skeptical at first. However, wildlife officials were aware that a few radio-collared northern wolves have wandered as far south as Missouri in the past decade.
Wolves resemble coyotes, except they are much larger. From a distance, the size difference is difficult to determine.
Troyer convinced Kevin Raymond, a wildlife biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, to look at the animal. Once Raymond saw the animal was twice the size of a coyote, he contacted furbearer biologist Laura Patton, who submitted samples to federal officials for DNA testing.
Because state and federal laws prohibit the possession, importation into Kentucky or hunting of gray wolves, federal officials took possession of the pelt. Since this is the first free-ranging gray wolf documented in Kentucky's modern history, federal or state charges are not expected because there were no prior biological expectations for any hunter to encounter a wolf. Visit the WK Outdoors website at

WK Outdoors
Information provided by Seth Stewart (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife) your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

October 06, 2015 4605

County Passes Occupational Tax Ordinance

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 4122

Alleged Attempt to Hide Meth in Doughnuts Results…

by SurfKY News
October 05, 2015 3921

Four Charged with Drug Offenses after Motel…

by SurfKY News
October 06, 2015 3440

Dawson Man Charged with Cultivating Marijuana,…

by SurfKY News
October 02, 2015 3127

Mahr Park Project Manager Describes Present,…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

September 16, 2015 13149

Mining Accident Fatality - Update

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 30, 2015 11205

Dawson Woman Dead After Princeton Factory…

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

October 07, 2015 4122

Alleged Attempt to Hide Meth in Doughnuts Results…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 2725

Vehicle Overturns during Two-Car Collision

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 07, 2015 2174

3 From Greenville Indicted On Drug Charges

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 975

McConnell Bill To Help Families Adopting Children…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 925

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 623

Lt. Gov. Urges Continued Healthcare Path for…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 617

MCC Participating in Used Mobile Phone Drive to…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 476

Kentucky Lottery Results for Tuesday Oct. 6, 2015

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 468

UPDATE: Mortons Gap Boil Water Advisory Lifted

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 446

Two Arrested On Drug Charges After Investigation

by SurfKY News