Wolves in the Pasture?

Returning home from my sister’s place Saturday morning Tom noticed some large prints paralleling our driveway.  They were huge canine prints.  Wolf or dog?  Our neighbor is the village president (chairman?) and he has been getting reports from our neighbors about a wolf livestock predation( 2 miniature donkeys and a new-born calf in broad daylight so far).  We were curious to see what we could learn about these prints;  so Tom and I went for a little pasture walk before the weather turned nasty.    The prints traveled an absolutely straight path across the north edge of our pasture  then curved and followed the edge of the woods and into Dad’s woods where we lost the trail.  They didn’t shy away from the house or curve towards the full garbage.   The solitary large track was flanked by two smaller canine tracks which crossed over and sort of wandered.  The large track was approx 5 x 3 inches.  The smaller tracks were 3 x 2 inches.  I think it was a wolf -we dont have any dogs this big in the area.  We think the wolf was traveling with a purpose and the coyotes were following at a distance. 

Coyote?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wolf?

It was pretty cool to see all the tracks, we saw lots of deer and many coyote tracks; but also mice, pheasant, grouse and a fox in the woods.   It’s got me thinking about how the things we do on our pasture affect the wildlife and the local ecology.  It’s also got me thinking about the kind of fence we need to put up.  Woven wire would be best for sheep and young tender lambs, at least as long as the snow doesn’t drift high enough that a predator can just walk over the top!
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