Scientific name:

Canis lupus

 

What makes it special:

The gray wolf, also known as the western, timber or true wolf, is the largest member of the dog family and lives in different geographic areas in different color variations. Among its unique features is the adaptation of hunting large prey, a behavior that causes a lot of interaction with humans.

 

Recommended caliber:

Anything above .30 calibers should be sufficient

Wolf hunting - Gray wolf facts

Shooting wolves requires tactics. They are extremely cautious and fast, blend in with the environments and use their great senses to stay away from trouble. When confronted, they either flee or defend themselves, making it necessary to target them at a good distance.

Hunting method

The gray wolf is best hunted in the open fields. They walk wide areas crossing different habitats, so the hunter must be prepared to make long stalks in search of them. They have an excellent sense of smell making it necessary to approach upwind. Even with variations in colors, their colors are a perfect camouflage with the environment. They are aggressive and charge towards the hunter when injured meaning they should be approached with caution and shot at a distance of about 20 meters. A shot placed above the shoulder or on the fore head will effectively bring it down.

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Know the animal

Appearance

They have brown or grey fur though there are other variations depending on the geographic location. Variations include either white or black, which help them to blend well with their environment. They have a body length of up to 1.5 meters, and weigh between 16 and 60 kilograms. Their shoulder height is averagely 85 centimeter. They are easily recognized on their dog like appearance, their well-developed jaws easily noticed as the difference. They have long fur on most parts of the body except for the face and on the part of the legs below the knee.

 

Habitat

Found spread in many parts of the world, typically regions with; steppes, arctic tundra, forests, open woodlands, grasslands and arid areas. They are found in Asia, North America, Greenland and Europe. In this entire habitat, the grey wolf blends in well and moves across different habitat bordering their main home.

 

Diet

Grey wolves are carnivorous and most often hunt in packs. They prey on lager preys as compared to their body size. Their hunting tradition has made them cross lines with human in their search for livestock. The bigger preys are hunted in packs while a lone wolf can go for smaller preys such as rodents, rabbits and beavers.

 

Predators

The grey wolf is the biggest of the dog family placing them at the apex of predators. They are mainly predated by men, but lone young ones are predated on by older wolves and coyote.

 

Life cycle

The gestation period is 63 days. The female gives birth to between 1 and 8 cubs at a time. At birth the cabs weigh about 450 grams. They are normally born blind and their ears are closed too. They open their eyes after an average of 10 days and for a period of up to eight weeks they feed on breast milk. After that they start hunting on their own. Their adult teeth develop at the age of 6 months. They attain sexual maturity at the age of 2 to 3 years of age.

 

Behavior

The grey wolf is a social animal; they walk in packs of typically 5-11 animals, usually led by an alpha couple. There are recorded instances of wolfs walking in packs as large as 42 wolves. Individuals might, however, also walk far away from the pack: As far as 390 km away from the pack has been registered. Despite the social nature of wolves, they rarely admit new wolves in their pack.

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Animal Facts

Weight and size

The average weight of males and females is respectively 44 kg and 37 kg, but they can weigh more than 60 kg, have a shoulder height of 100 cm and be 150 cm long. A shoulder height of about 85 cm is, however, more common.

 

Habitat

They are found in steppe, arctic, grassland and woodland.

 

Diet

Being carnivorous they prey on medium to large game animals. However, where they live close to humans, they prey on domestic livestock and can attack humans when aggravated.

 

Predators

Mainly hunted by man and other gray wolves.

 

Life cycle

7-10 years.

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