THe Idaho wolves are gorging on huge dinners of elk and deer with a few domestic pets thrown in the pile from time to time. Yes, 180 pounds is seen here officially.
COEUR d'ALENE - As the woman walked by the truck with the tailgate down, she glanced at what lay in the bed of the pickup parked outside Fish and Game's Coeur d'Alene headquarters.
Then, her eyes opened wide.
"Oh my God," she said.
It was the head and fur of what had been a massive wolf that Brett Pitcher shot Monday.
The 2002 Coeur d'Alene High School graduate got what he estimated was a 180-pound wolf in the St. Joe area.
"Really. I live there. I don't like that," the woman said Tuesday morning. "That's big."
Why do they get so big here in Idaho? First, this is the largest subspecies of wolf, the Canadian Mackenzie Valley Wolf. This is not the native canus lupus irremotus that they replaced. The native Idaho wolf was much smaller and had a different temperament.
Secondly, they have unlimited supply of game animals not yet depleted. Some studies document 47 elk killed per wolf. Add a number of deer and you see an amazing feast here in Idaho by these huge killers.
So to the question of faking the pictures? No, not by that documented by F&G for instance in the link above. Yes, that is a big wolf and that is what they can grow to be here in Idaho. It is an alien subspecies gone wild in an ungulate population that just can't cope with these giant killing machines. I have no doubt that those photos are quite real.
Here is another set of pictures of the wolf from CDA above. Yes, that is a big wolf!!