Coyote Hunter Mistakenly Shoots Wolf, Charges Pending

A man hunting coyotes may be in hot water after dropping what appears to be a grey wolf.

South Dakota hunters know the state can produce some great deer and a high population of coyotes. It's for those reasons many will make regular practice of hunting predators.

Mike Werner is one of those people.

He was hunting coyotes near Clark Lake when he came across what appeared to be a coyote of unusual size and color, as reported by the Watertown Public Opinon. He spotted and shot the animal from approximately 100 yards away.

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Walking up to the animal, he started putting the pieces together. After realizing what he shot was possibly a wolf, he immediately contacted a local Game Warden.

Game, Fish & Parks conservation officer Mike Klosowski responded to the call. Werner informed the officer that he mistook the animal as a coyote even though he admitted it was a larger, darker version of what he was used to seeing.

An image of Werner with the animal surfaced on social media, and if the image is any indication, Werner may soon have more than a coyote problem on his hands. Surprisingly, the animal was missing toes from what appeared to be an injury from an old trap. He had part of another trap stuck to one of his other legs, too.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has now gotten involved and is testing the animal. If it comes back as a grey wolf, Werner could face federal charges. Wolves are protected under the federal endangered species list.

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