Fremont, Ohio – From the you-just-never-know department comes a
tale about a large wolf – yes, a wolf – shot recently in Sandusky
Dusty Gore of Bellevue and his wife, Tracy, were headed toward
Fremont March 22 on County Road 205, just south of U.S. 20 between
Bellevue and Clyde.
Just about the time they were behind York School, which fronts
on U.S. 20, “I spotted what I thought was a coyote in a field about
200 yards from the school,” said the 28-year-old Gore. He wheeled
around and headed home where he grabbed his varmint rifle.
To shorten the story a mite, Gore shot the beast and went to
retrieve it on a three-wheeler.
“I didn’t realize it was a wolf when I shot. I thought it was an
exceptionally large coyote.”
Gore took it to Bellevue taxidermist Brian Weider, who in turn
notified Brian Bury, state game protector in Sandusky County.
Bury confirmed that the animal indeed was a wolf. He said he has
received at least a dozen calls about “a pack of wolves” and added
this: “Two more got away. This was a large male, at least 100
pounds. They (the pack) have been covering about a 10-mile area the
last few days.”
Gore weighed the wolf on a grain scale and it hung between 120
and 140 pounds.
Free-ranging wolves are not found in the wild in Ohio these
days; the species’ wild breeding populations long ago having been
eradicated. But some people keep wolves, or at least wolf-dog
The nearest known wild populations of wolves are in Michigan’s
upper peninsula – pegged at 584 in last winter’s count. That is at
least 350 miles or more from northwest Ohio – quite a ways even
though wolves have been known to travel 470 miles, according to
Michigan tagging studies.
“We’re still trying to get some information on this animal,”
said Scott Butterworth, wildlife management supervisor for Ohio
Wildlife District 2 at Findlay. After a look at several photos, he
said, “my guess is that it’s not a pure wolf.
“We have no reports of any wolves coming down from Michigan.
More than likely it’s one of those hybrid animals you can buy as a
pet, and someone released it intentionally or it got away.”
Butterworth noted Ohio has no rule that protects wolves, and no
prohibition against shooting them. Because there are no known wild
breeding populations of wolves here, the species is not on the
official state game or wildlife lists.
As such, wolves would fall into a gray area of being
nonentities, much like any stray captive cougars that have been
reported and which likely escaped or were dumped. Face it, owners
of such potentially dangerous creatures – there are captive bobcats
among others – likely are not going to come forward to claim the
escapees, lest they become liable for any deaths or damages.
Any wolf observations should be directed to Wildlife District 2,
Reprinted by permission of The Blade of Toledo, March 2010.