Have Wolves Returned to New Hampshire?

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Jan Stearns, Waterville Valley Realty, Waterville Valley, NH

Wolves in New Hampshire?

A couple of weeks ago as I was driving home from work at night an animal ran out of the forest and across the road in front of my car.  I saw it clear as day.  It was a wolf...or, at least it looked like the wolves I've seen on TV and in movies.  I told my husband about it, but he said I probably saw a coy dog, not a wolf.  Well, I've seen coy dogs before and this was definitely NOT an eastern coyote.  And its appearance was wild and not domesticated.

Being an obsessive Googler, I searched online for photos of wolves (yup, the animal I Gray wolf - photo from Google Imagessaw looked just like the gray wolves I found in the Google images - example at right), but the news articles I found online indicated that there have been no confirmed sightings or killings of wild wolves in New Hampshire in many, many years.

I didn't tell anyone else but my husband about my wolf sighting because I didn't want people to start thinking of me as the next Big Foot-type lunatic!

This morning my officemate, Debbie Duffy, arrived at work and excitedly told me that she'd just seen a wolf run across Rt. 49 (the state highway that connects Waterville Valley to the rest of the world).  She, too, Googled wolf photos online and confirmed that, indeed, the animal she saw was a gray wolf.

I was so excited to hear about her sighting and described the animal I had seen to her.  "Yes," she exclaimed, "that sounds just like what I saw." 

Hmmmm...is it possible that wolves have returned to New Hampshire? 

There is a deep cultural fear of wolves.  Think "Little Red Riding Hood." 

According to information I found online, the gray wolf has been persecuted by man for centuries.  In New England the gray wolf was hunted to extinction by the mid 1800s. 

In October of 2007, a wolf was shot in a rural area of northern Massachusetts. The animal had been reported to state biologists after a rash of sheep killings on a farm in the area. The day after biologists investigated, the animal was shot by someone other than the farmer. The biologists would not name the guilty party but stomach contents of the animal confirmed that it was predating on sheep.

It was originally assumed that the animal was an escaped wolf but this has proven not to be the case. Biologists and conservationists have long thought that the recovering eastern Canadian population of gray wolves was likely to move south into the areas of northern New England and upstate New York where appropriate habitat exists. It appears that they were right.

According to my research, young male wolves often separate from the pack over the summer and fall to hunt independently.  I wonder if that's why Debbie and I saw a lone wolf. 

Eric Orff, a Certified Wildlife Biologist, said that New Hampshire, with land that is 90 percent wooded (and Waterville Valley is completely surrounded by the 770,000-acre White Mountain National Forest) and thriving populations of moose, deer and beaver -- prime wolf foods -- has many of the right habitat ingredients to support a wolf population. Within the next few decades, we may see wolves return to New Hampshire on their own.

Cheers!  Jan

 Jan Stearns, Waterville Valley Realty

1-888-987-8333

Waterville Valley Realty

Facebook - Become a Fan of Waterville Valley Realty

Twitter

Youtube

Posted by

Jan Stearns

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the music-note to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
New Hampshire Grafton County Waterville Valley
Tags:
white mountains
new england wildlife
new hampshire wildlife
wolf
wolves
waterville valley nh

Comments 64 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the man to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainer
73,433
Jan Stearns
Marketing Dir. 1-888-987-8333
Jan Stearns, Waterville Valley Realty, Waterville Valley, NH

LOL, so true!  Sort of like the "Moose Crossing" signs - moose aren't confined to just those crossings!  I was driving a South African friend to the mall some years back.  She asked me how the moose know to stay in the "Moose Crossing" zones!

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan

July 20, 2012 05:56 AM
Rainer
73,433
Jan Stearns
Marketing Dir. 1-888-987-8333
Jan Stearns, Waterville Valley Realty, Waterville Valley, NH

Message for Sandy Glencross (#26 & #27 above) ... if you see this message would you please email me?  A man has just emailed me today after reading your comment and expressed interest in learning more about the photo you have of a mountain lion in Strafford - and details about exactly where you saw (or photographed) the mountain lion.

Please email me at wci@wvnh.com or give me a call at 603-236-3333.

Thanks, Sandy!

Jan

August 03, 2012 03:20 PM
Anonymous #64
Anonymous
Donna

We saw a wolf in Hollis, NH this week.  As the others have stated above, we know the difference between a coyote and a wolf, and this definitely looked exactly like the picture above.  While it shocked us at first, it made you feel like  you had a unique experience, something like seeing Santa Claus: you know he doesn't really exist, but then there he is before your very eyes.  Donna

November 25, 2012 06:52 AM
Anonymous #65
Anonymous
Roxanna Jones

 My husband and I were traveling from Littleton toward Whitefield (Technically Bethlehem) and we saw a wolf run across the road in front of our car.  He was huge.  Never seen one before.  I have seen coyotes before this was not that and it was not a dog - it was a wolf.

 

November 05, 2013 04:35 PM
Anonymous #66
Anonymous
Anonymous
A friend of my gf's daughter had his car break down recently on Corrigan Hill near Lancaster, NH and was walking up the hill to his house when he believes he was tracked by a wolf through the woods nearby. He was fairly upset and posted about it on FB.
February 03, 2014 07:04 PM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the cat to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainer
73,433

Jan Stearns

Marketing Dir. 1-888-987-8333
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the clock to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

Web Analytics

Clicky