View Full Version : Wolves in PA

02-26-2007, 18:28
I recently took a trip south on the AT from 309 and ran into some tracks in the snow. We started seeing what i thought were dog tracks but they were HUGE bigger then my fist. I then thought maybe mountain lion but claws were almost always visible in the track. I looked at pictures of tracks online and everything points to grey wolf. Has anyone seen grey wolves in pa? We also spotted urine markings along the trail and scat.

02-26-2007, 18:33
I hiked from 309 south 2 weeks ago with my choch. lab husky mix pooch and im sure she or I urinated and scatted along the trail at some point! I never heard of any gray wolves in these parts.

02-26-2007, 18:44
My trip was this past week. After the first day our tracks were the only other ones in the snow. How large to coyotes get? These tracks were at least 3 inches long.

02-26-2007, 19:37
Actually, coyotes are much smaller than wolves. According to the USFWS, grey wolves are 5-6 feet long and between 80 and 120 pounds. Coyotes are 3-4 feet long and 20 to 45 pounds.

02-26-2007, 19:53
Lots of coyetes in Pa now. They do grew large but not wolf size.

02-26-2007, 19:55
I was in a meeting this afternoon. It was in a small conference room with glass walls, on the 3rd floor of an office bulding, overlooking a narrow stretch of woods in Waltham MA, quite literally a stone's throw from Rte. 95, aka Rte. 128. Anyway, at one point the meeting went quiet when someone spotted and pointed to a coyote in the woods. We all watched for while. Way cool.

TJ aka Teej
02-26-2007, 19:58
Individual prints look alike, snow makes size hard to gauge. When you see an actual animal, a coyote will remind you of a fox, a wolf will put you in mind of a dog.
I've seen several wolves in Yellowstone NP, but only one wolf in the wild anywhere else, near Slaughter Pond in Baxter Park about 20 years ago.

02-26-2007, 20:27
Coyotes can get good sized. Large. I saw one down back that I thought was a German Shepard until I saw the tail. Odd color and chunky. Saw another one down there (deer trail) and it stopped and stood in the shade of a bushy pine tree and eyeballed me. Kind of dropped its head and stared. It was big too. I assume it thought it was out of sight. Amazing how calm wildlife can be if you don't make eye contact. It was bigger than I would want to lift one handed.

Did the track you saw have two longer toes at 11:30 and 12:30?
Was it warm when you saw the track?
Have you ever seen how big a track 120-150lb dog makes?

I seem to remember wolves had been crossing the St. Lawrence, maybe some got sick and tired of snow and ice!

Almost There
02-26-2007, 20:36
Coyotes remind you of a FOX??? Not the ones I've seen or been followed by on an old girlfriend's grandfather's farm. Leaner than a wolf or large dog but with the height at times...I've seen foxes and every coyote(4) I've ever seen were at least twice as large as the two foxes I've seen. That being said there aren't supposed to be any wolves in Pa.

TJ aka Teej
02-26-2007, 20:38
Coyotes remind you of a FOX???

Not size-wise. In manner. Coyotes seem fox-like, wolves seem dog-ish.

02-26-2007, 20:41
there aren't supposed to be any wolves in Pa.

Yep...no mountain lions neither. :rolleyes:

02-26-2007, 20:46
"Coydogs", or coyotes that have cross-bred with dogs, are very common as well. Depending on the type of dog that was mated with, the coydog could be larger than the average coyote. Coyotes will almost always go out of their way to avoid human contact. I've heard that they will tend to travel on the downwind side of their surroundings to try to pick up human (or other) scents.

02-26-2007, 21:08
Wolf tracks may be 5-6" long and wide, whereas coyote tracks would be more like 2-3". Obviously dog tracks vary in size depending on the breed. Canine tracks are generally similar in appearance with claw marks prominent, since all canines run on their toes (digitigrade). However, tracks in snow can be very deceiving as they will grow in appearance over time as the snow around the print melts. Since wolves in southeastern PA are very unlikely I'd guess you saw dog or coyote tracks possibly enlarged with age. Either that or Bigfoot, which is well known to live in Tamaqua...:D

Jim Adams
02-26-2007, 21:26
Yes there is the occassional mountain lion, proven by Game Commission biologists in the southwestern corner. Fayette County.


02-26-2007, 23:44
thanks for the input. The tracks were a few days old . These tracks also were almost perfectly in a straight line. As for the claws the middle two stuck out farther and were straight up. the tracks were more then 2 feet apart. I need to start carrying a decent camera. It was cold.

02-27-2007, 04:07
However, tracks in snow can be very deceiving as they will grow in appearance over time as the snow around the print melts.

I'll second that. My German Shepherd used to leave enormous tracks in snow that only got more impressive with a melt. Probably old Coyote tracks.

02-27-2007, 16:44
Coyote tracks are different in that the prints are on top of each other. That is, they make one line of prints rather than the two that one would expect.--Kinnickinic

02-27-2007, 17:17
Just to add to all the possibilities,coydogs in northern Newhampshire and Vermont can also be wolf-coyote combos, big like wolves but sing like coyotes. With that said,betcha seen dog prints!

02-27-2007, 20:58
I know with complete certainty that wolves have been reintroduced in several areas of the United State. The reintroductions have been done by small private groups. About 11 years ago the releases were announced and published in the local news papers. There was a public outcry condemning the reintroduction of wolves. The wolves were hunted down and killed. The releasing group then moved their breeding program and produced a new pack of wolves conditioned for survival in the wild. The new pack of wolves were released in secret. When the wolves’ presence was discovered they were assumed to have migrated from Canada. This all happened about 8 years ago. That was only a couple of states away from PA. I wonder if unannounced releases are happening in PA or have the wolves propagated enough to expand their presence as far as PA. Very interesting possibility.

03-04-2007, 13:07
60 lb coyotes are not unheard of in PA.