Know Your Wolves

wolfNow that wolves are making a comeback and hunting them is not just a dream, how many species of wolves can you hunt? North America has two species of wolves, the Gray and the Red. Gray wolves are the most numerous and occupy the most of North America. The Red wolf is rarer and occupies the southeastern United States. 

If you have hunted wolves, or plan on hunting wolves, you will be hunting a Gray wolf or a subspecies of Gray wolf. The most common subspecies of Gray wolf to hunt are as follows:

Eastern Timber Wolf

If you hunt in the Great Lakes states, you will be after a subspecies called a timber wolf. This smallish wolf, generally 50-100 pounds, is found in this area and the northeast part of the US. It is often mistaken for a coyote, and landed some hunters in trouble in states that don’t permit wolf hunting. Be careful when you predator hunt that you are really killing a coyote!


Rocky Mountain Wolf

If you hunt in Idaho or Montana, you will probably be hunting a subspecies called the Rocky Mountain wolf, generally a medium to large sized wolf ranging from 70 to 135 pounds.


Mackenzie Valley Wolf and Yukon Wolf

If you hunt in Alaska, you will be after one of these two subspecies found all over Alaska and into the Aleutian Islands. These are the largest wolf species that you will hunt. One Mackenzie Valley wolf weighed 175 pounds.  Generally these wolves weigh in around 90-120 pounds.  Before it went extinct in 1924, Alaska was home to the largest recorded modern Gray wolf subspecies, the Kenai Peninsula wolf that averaged around 200 pounds. 

No matter what you choose to hunt, the wolf has a long and infamous history, making it a prime trophy for the predator hunter. Since it has long come into conflict with ranchers and competed for game with humans, it hasn’t always been popular. Nearly being wiped out in the lower 48 states, it has recovered enough to be hunted in six of these states. Alaska has always had a large enough population for hunting and trapping.

If you do want to hunt a wolf, the best place to start is Alaska. The license and tag will cost you $115.00. Although you will have to have transport to Alaska, and transport to where you can hunt, this is still a fairly cheap hunt and won’t require any draw worries. If you are seeking the ultimate North American predator to add to your collection, don’t forget about the wolf.