SCORES & OUTDOORS: Photographs are probably wolves in Maine’s north woods

Trail cameras set up by MWC captured these images. (photos courtesy of John Glowa)

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

This week, I’m going to give up my space to a China resident. In the past we have done articles on wolves in Maine with mixed reactions. Some people believing there are wolves in Maine, and some others saying no.

John Glowa, of China, is a member of the Maine Wolf Coalition, Inc., and has advocated for wolves in the past. The following is a press release from Glowa:

In 1993, a young female wolf was killed by a bear hunter north of Moosehead Lake. In 1996, a second wolf was killed by a trapper east of Bangor. Since then, there have been many sightings of possible wolves in Maine.

In 2019, in response to the failure/refusal of the state and federal governments to assess the status of wolves in the northeast, the Maine Wolf Coalition (MWC) began a search for wolves in Maine. Due to the proximity of wolves in Canada, and the abundant habitat and prey in the northeast U.S., wolves are attempting to recolonize the northeast. Unfortunately, widespread killing of large canids by hunters and trappers in the U.S. and Canada is likely preventing or hindering their natural recovery in Maine.

Trail cameras set up by MWC captured these images. (photos courtesy of John Glowa)

In 2019, MWC documented the first live Eastern wolf in Maine through its scat. In 2021, MWC set out trail cameras to attempt to photograph wolves. Two of the cameras were placed where the wolf scat was found. These two cameras photographed at least two adult animals. A third was placed in another area where we previously found large canid scat which could not be analyzed. This camera photographed a litter of up to seven canid pups.

Here is a link to the video which is a compilation of photos. They show at least two wolf-like adults. They are very different in appearance, possibly owing to the fact that Maine may have both gray and Eastern wolves and hybrids of both. The morphology of these animals shows the wide variation in wolves and wolflike canids. Wolves in Maine may range in size from less than 50 pounds to more than 100 pounds and they may vary in color from white to black and various shades of brown and gray.

We continue to maintain trail cameras and collect canid scat in Maine’s north woods. Given the information we have gathered to date, we would like to see the state and federal governments and universities/colleges conduct similar research to further assess the status of wolves in Maine including whether or not there is a breeding population. Unfortunately, the federal government recently removed federal protection for wolves in Maine and elsewhere, in part due to their unfounded claims that Maine has no wolves. In addition, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife refused to close a relatively small portion of Maine’s woods to coyote trapping to protect possible wolves and the Province of Québec allows wolves to be killed legally to the Maine border.

The Maine Wolf Coalition, Inc. is a non-profit 501c3 Maine corporation dedicated to wolf recovery in Maine through research, education and protection. For more information, contact John Glowa at 207-660-3801 or at jglowa@roadrunner.com.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

What manager led the Boston Red Sox to their first championship in 86 years in 2004?

Answer can be found here.

 
 

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7 replies
  1. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    I’ve lived in the Maine Woods for a long time so am familiar with the cries of coyotes as they would come into my sheep farm at night. Their calls are easy to differentiate from wolf howls.
    People don’t hear either coyotes or wolves because their TVs are on, but I’ve heard wolf calls here in Washington County.
    One night rather late when I had no sound machines on in my house, I heard a loud, long howl right on my property, about 300 feet from my house. I stepped out on the back porch, keeing one hand on the door handle for a quick entry back into the house.
    The hair on the back of my neck raised in primal fear.
    This was a wolf howl, no mistake. Because it was loud and long, it sounded like a very large animal.
    As I stood there, I heard an answering howl from the blueberry barrens several miles away. The creature left and I heard it no more.
    I’m not especially afraid of coyotes since I would just shoot some buck shot into the air and they’d leave my farm, but this was not a coyote.
    I remember very well the primal fear that wolf howl elicited from me, who’s used to creatures in the wild.
    Of course there are wolves in Maine. I wish the “kill for fun” crowd would leave them and other wild creatures, excepting when necessary for food, alone.

    Reply
    • Debbie
      Debbie says:

      Why do all the hunters and hunters of Maine want to kill everything out there! I can understand killing to eat,just for fun or to hang them on a wall is such a joke. Animals kill to survive! I can only pray for karma that in there next life they will come back as a animal that is just killed for fun or be hung on a wall. Everyone has a judgement day.

      Reply
      • Brian
        Brian says:

        Not everyone kills for fun. Most sportsman Do it for the health of the animals. As more people move into our wonderful state those beautiful animals loose their homes. Diseases like Mange and Parvo get into the dens. Which becomes a horrible way for the animals to live. Rabbies is another disease that harms our animal population. So according to maine biologist we need to hunt and trap to insure we have a healthy population due to humans taking over animal habitat. Laws are set in place to contact game wordings and biologists if a wolf I caught. Or wolf hybrids.

        Reply
  2. Liv
    Liv says:

    As terrifying as the prospect of wolves can be when looked at from the perspective of a hobby farmer or someone with pets and property, they are a much needed addition to the ecosystem. They were here before us, and will continue to come back. There is plenty of prey for them up here, I just hope these crazy hunters don’t run them out like they’ve been doing out west.

    Reply
  3. Adam
    Adam says:

    November 2021 at Portage lake Maine I watched 3 wolves 2 dark almost black in color and 1 grey for maybe 1 minutewhile they walked 150 yars awayfrom my huntingblind . I thought they were deer until i put the scope on them . Ive watched and shot dozens of coyotes in the past and these were 100% not coyotes. These dogs were solid 125 pounds or more , over 3 +foot at the shoulder and were lengthy. That sundown there was alot of howling also. Nothing like the yipping of coyotes that ive heard 100’s of times . The only thing i can compair it to was wolves on YouTube. This was at Portage lake this fall on my annual hunting trip . We also found tracks the size of a man hand hand in the snow . Also have photos of the tracks .we saw no “resident” deer anywhere even at night with Nighy vision on neighborhood rides .This was very strange! We’ve been hunting there for 20 years now . I did report this to the local IFW wildlife biologist. He was truly interested. I know what I saw!!! I’m a born and raised Mainah and avid outdoorsman I’ve spent more time in the woods and on the waters of Maine than most guides could only dream off . If anyone would like to chat about it please email me .
    To Debbie. Sorry for your opinions on hunters we do not want to kill everything we see with the exception of the intended we are after .
    Morsey19@gmail.com

    Reply

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