wolf and coyote photos ©David C. Olson
Length (nose to tail): Wolf 5-6 feet, coyote, 3 ½ - 4 ½ feet. Weight: Wolf, 50-100 pounds; coyote, 25-45 pounds.
wolfComparisonHeight.jpg##SIZE Wisconsin wolves are generally bigger than coyotes. Be sure to look for other identifying characteristics.
Height (at shoulder): Wolf 27-33 inches; coyote, 20-22 inches. Weight: Wolf, 50-100 pounds; coyote, 25-45 pounds.
wolfComparisonHead.jpg##HEAD The snouts are distinguishing features. While the wolf's snout is blocky, the coyote's snout is pointed.
wolfComparisonEars.jpg##EARS Looking at the ears is a key way to distinguish between a wolf and a coyote. Coyote ears are larger in proportion to head size. In fact, a 30 lb. coyote can have ears as big or bigger than an 80 lb. wolf. Also, wolves have rounded ears. Coyote's ears are pointed.
wolfComparisonColor.jpg##COLOR The coats of wolves and coyotes are very similar. Though some wolves are all black, the majority of wolves have a mix of tan, brown and black, with cinnamon on the ears. Coyote coats are similarly colored, though usually lighter.
wolfComparisonPaws.jpg##PAWS When tracking a wolf or coyote, look for these distinctive features. Wolves and coyotes generally use direct registration when they walk (hind foot steps in line with front foot). View more information.
wolfComparisonEnd.jpg##For more information on wolves, wolf identification, or to report a sighting, please visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "wolf management." For questions please contact Dave Macfarland, Large carnivore ecologist, at 715-365-8917, Dan Kaminski, Assistant large carnivore ecologist, at 608-261-7588, or Jane Wiedenhoeft, wildlife biologist, at 715-762-1362.