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Smoky Mountains -Cades Cove saw wolf.

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Aug 28th, 2012, 07:38 AM
  #1
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Smoky Mountains -Cades Cove saw wolf.

Has anyone else seen a wolf in Cades Cove?
Went to Cades Cove and saw a large wolf cross the road while in my car. It was after leaving the Old Mill/Restroom area where the deer are on the left regularly. The exiting side.

I have been hiking Cades Cove for over 30 years on the popular hiking trails and have never seen a wolf.
I understand that the Park Service has reintroduced wolves. [This seems mean, being the generations of deer have lived in somewhat peace without worrying. And for us hikers.]

Also, Cades Cove is not out in the middle of no where. The wolves can travel to nearby cities over years of multiplying. Needless to say the campgrounds.

I do not like this. It makes me afraid to hike in Cades Cove. Wolves can travel far.
The park service is also letting areas grow up and young people do not get to see how the people farmed and lived in this beautiful Cades Cove.

Not trying to start an opinion forum, just wondering about you Cades Cove Smoky Mountain visitors/lovers and your wolf sightings.
Also if you feel safe hiking with these newly added residents?

Sad, betsy3
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Aug 28th, 2012, 07:44 AM
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My response was going to be "How cool!" I would be excited to see one and would not be worried about being out on the trails. Wolves don't attack humans in the wild. You're fine. I think this is a very good thing.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 07:49 AM
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> It makes me afraid to hike in Cades Cove.

Why?
In the last century, a grand total of ZERO people have died in North America due to wolf attacks.
Let me repeat, in case you missed it: that's ZERO PEOPLE. In a CENTURY. That's a pretty rare event.

I can almost understand being afraid of being hit by a left-handed Vietnamese driver of a Yugo, as that happening is more likely than being attacked by a wolf. But the latter fear makes no sense.

BTW, congratulations on seeing a wolf (if, indeed, you saw one). Very few people in North America are blessed at being able to see one in the wild -- I envy you. If wolves are, indeed, now present at GSNP, that gives even more incentive to go there.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 07:59 AM
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Starrs, there is a man who has brought his wolf to Cape San Blas for the last two years in January. The people who have dogs do not like it.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 08:03 AM
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PaulRabe
Drive from Cherokee to Gatlinburg over the mountain at night late in the dark. You will be surprised what crosses the road and is in the pull offs. We saw a wolf at 11:00PM at one of the pull offs one night. Of course we stayed in the car.
All true! Night animals of course, like fox, etc.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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I saw a fox outside of Glacier NP last year. I was thrilled. Got some good pictures (daytime, obviously).
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Aug 28th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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I would be far more worried about hiking with bears in CC than wolves.

cd,
A captive wolf is far different from a wolf in the wild. I wouldn't like it one bit if my neighbor owned one. But, one in the wild is no big deal, IMOP(other than seeing it is nice)

A lot of people get wolves mixed up with a large coyote). Not saying this is the case here, but it happens a lot. It amazes me how many people will say they saw a wolf in Yellowstone and they show a picture of a coyote. there are even some dogs that look a lot like a wolf.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 08:59 AM
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spirobulldog,

A quick look can be a mistake, I agree. But this was too big to be a coyote unless they can come as large as a wolf.

I was walking in West Virginia once near the government wildlife center and a coyote ran down on his crossing path near me. Scared the ___ out of me. He was much smaller than a wolf.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Really might have been a coyote. And the deer can be a very mixed blessing (plus allowing them to be hunted).

Cades Cove provides a unique chance to view white-tailed deer.
All of the Great Smoky Mountain National park is a haven for white tailed deer, but there is no better place to view deer than Cades Cove. Smokies visitors commonly see two hundred deer if visiting the cove at sunrise. Though timid, the deer have learned to tolerate motorist stopping along the Cades Cove loop to watch them browse. Often, the deer are only ten to twenty yards away.


Depending on conditions, deer population in and around Cades Cove has reached as high as a thousand. Obviously numbers like that have a negative effect on Cades Cove's ecosystem. For instance oak tree sprouts are a deer delicacy. High numbers of deer prevent the sprouts from becoming saplings which grow into the great oak trees. The oak trees of the Cades Cove provide the acorns so necessary to the survival of many cove species. The over browsing by deer makes themselves more susceptible to disease and starvation for acorns are an important part of deer diet. If the deer's typical food disappears in the cove, the deer rely upon less nutritious foods such as rhododendron.


To counteract deer over browsing by a natural means, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park service introduced coyotes and red wolves into Cades Cove in the 1980's and 90's. The coyotes remain to this day but the red wolves had to be relocated. Smoky Mountain black bears have always preyed upon fawns and therefore help to maintain the delicate balance of nature found in Cades Cove.


Smoky Mountain visitors who visit Cades Cove in the late summer and early fall will get to see bucks with full antlers. Each year after mating season is over, the antlers fall off, usually in mid-winter. In the spring, the antlers begin to grow again and by August and September the antlers are ready implements of battle. The battles of course are between males over mating rights to Cades Cove's does. Except for the first birthing season, fawns are usually born to the does in twos. The fawns are able to walk at birth and can be weaned in six weeks. The average life cycle of the deer in Cades Cove is approximately ten years.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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"...and a coyote ran down on his crossing path near me. Scared the ___ out of me". That happened to me when hiking, but it was a pheasant flushing. I was shocked at how loud it was and it took a few seconds to realize what in the heck was crossing in front of me.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Gretchen,
If the wolf should have been red as you stated, it was not.
I heard once that the reintroduced wolves in Yellowstone were mating with the coyotes. Is that true?
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Aug 28th, 2012, 11:22 AM
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I think reintroductin wolves there is wonderful. As for the deer - as far as I'm aware we have a vast overgrowth of deer everywhere and many are starving in the winters - since humans have removed the animals of which the deer are a natural prey.

As for danger - wolves do NOT attack people and generally avoid habitations at all costs. Bear are a much greater danger and there are a gazillion of them anywhere.

As for a "tame" wolf, there is no such thing. And anyone who is treating a wolf as if it were a dog definitely needs their head examined. It is, by definition, a wild animal and as far as I know, keeping one should be illegal everywhere unless you have permit for a zoo.

And agree that it would be rally hard to mistake a coyote for a wolf - although there are some large dogs than can appear wolflike. But you probably saw the real thing - and should be overjoyed by the experience.

Are you sure they are introducing "red" wolves rather than the standard grey ones?
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Aug 28th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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nytraveler,
I think that also about the grey wolf myself, after looking at pictures on the internet.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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It is grey wolves in Yellowstone. I don't know, obviously. I just looked that up and posted it. It isn't my "knowledge"--it's the Park's webpage.
I have seen a coyote up close and fairly personal in DS's back yard in Denver. He was drop dead gorgeous. AND big.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 01:03 PM
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Coyotes are NOT big. Although they usually have legs longer than a dog they only weigh about 30 to 45 pounds (females on the smaller end of the spectrum) - barely into medium size for a dog. Wolves are much bigger - in the US about 100 pounds - more like a sightly taller german shepherd.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Well - you really cant tel from that video - since there is nothing to compare size against. Of course, the general appearance if the same - but wolves are twice the size.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 01:57 PM
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having seen a coyote from about 30 feet, he was good sized. He was easily the size of the one in the video. Animals come in AlL sizes, outside of NYC.It is pretty silly to say "they are NOT big". They can be. Tall, not necessarily heavy.
My son's dog, who was a barky puppy at the time, was in his pen, and usually would have been barking at me coming out of the garage, but apparently had the scent of the coyote, and like Brer Rabbit, he be real quiet. The area of Denver they live in has a LOT of coyotes, and the town has hired a "guard", not to kill them but to scare them off, if he can. They are worried about small dogs--and maybe even children.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 05:24 PM
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Sorry -animals have specific sizes. I'm not suggesting that a coyote is tiny - like a fox. Nor that it is capable of taking a cat or not large dog or even attacking a small child.

Never the less, a wolf is about twice as big as a coyote - and they take down animals much larger than a coyote would attempt. (Although I beleiee coyotes can take small - young - or injured deer. As can a lynx - which only way about 30/35 pounds or so. But - cats are solo hunters and IMHO much more ferocious.

As for coyotes - there have been a few in NYC - even in Manhattan - but I doubt that anyone weighed them. I was taking info from wildlife web sites - not the NYPD,
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Aug 28th, 2012, 07:14 PM
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I was talking about a coyote, not a wolf. The one I saw was the size of my son's lab--a little taller, undoubtedly not as hefty--but not the size of a "medium size dog of the kind we have out here in the hinterlands.
I don't think we were talking about lynx, or bobcats, or other "cats" were we?
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