The gray wolf is definitely not your "run of the mill" canine. Adults can weigh anywhere from 70-115 pounds. To give you some perspective on its size, the gray wolf is more than twice the size of a coyote. And if that doesn't mean anything to you, the gray wolf is larger than the typical German shepard.
The gray wolf usually travels in packs that consist of two parents, their offspring, and other non-breeding adults. However, at the age of 1 to 2 years old, young adult gray wolves will leave the pack to form one of their own.
Historically, the gray wolf occupied almost all habitats in North America, including the Great Plains, so it's no surprise that the gray wolf would inhabit the wooded areas of J. Clark Salyer NWR. There have been confirmed reports of gray wolves in the Turtle Mountains, 30 miles north of J. Clark Salyer NWR.
Gray wolves will hunt large animals such as moose and deer. Perhaps it is the moose population at J. Clark Salyer that has lured the gray wolf back to this area. Whatever the reasons for its return, the gray wolf reports have yet to be confirmed. For now, the swift, dark shadows and large dog-like tracks are the only traces of the wolf's "ghostly" presence on the refuge.
If you'd like to learn more about this endangered species, check out our Endangered & Threatened Species of North Dakota.