It will take three to six months to determine whether an animal killed at Franklin Island Conservation Area, Missouri, is a wolf, a large coyote, or a hybrid animal with characteristics of both.
A hunter who has asked the department not to disclose his identity was bow hunting for deer at about 8 a.m. when the animal came into range, Cooper County conservation agent Mike Abdon said. Coyotes are in season and the hunter had a permit, so he shot what he thought might be a state-record coyote, Abdon said.
“The reason he shot this animal was that he thought it was an above-average size coyote that would make a good mount,” Abdon said.
By the time Abdon arrived in Boonville, a crowd was milling around the hunter’s pickup truck.
“I wasn’t quite for sure what it was,” Abdon said. “It looked like a coyote, but it didn’t.”
The animal weighed 81 pounds (the largest coyote on record nationally is 74 pounds) and Abdon ordered it taken to the department’s regional office in Columbia for testing. Department biologists said it was not fully mature, Abdon said.