A man from the Bonavista Peninsula community of Spillars Cove shot and killed a 37-kilogram coyote — nearly twice the weight of a normal coyote.
Joe Fleming — an avid coyote hunter — had seen abnormally large tracks and had heard tales about a super-sized predator in the area.
On Monday, Fleming decided to hunt the animal using an electronic decoy device to lure it into the open.
"I turned on a male challenge call, which means there's another male trying to take over his area or his female coyotes, and I'd say within three minutes he was coming in," said Fleming.
He killed the animal with a single rifle shot from over 200-metres away.
Wolf in coyote's clothing?
Fleming wasn't sure whether the animal was a coyote or a wolf because the tracks were so big. However, Fleming was told at a government-sponsored coyote seminar a month ago there are no wolves in Newfoundland.
"But they do say that our coyotes have been crossed with wolves before they came to Newfoundland," Flemibg said, "And their DNA contains wolf DNA."
"If somebody else shot it I'd say the same thing [it's not a coyote], I don't mind skepticism because I'd have to see it to believe it."
Fleming took the dead animal to the wildlife office in Clarenville where hair and blood samples were taken for analysis. Fleming said wildlife officers believe it is a coyote, but he's awaiting test results for final confirmation.
The Outdoor Supply Store in Lewisporte runs a number of coyote contests, including giving a new rifle to whomever kills the largest coyote this season. Fleming is now the frontrunner for the rifle.
The store has received about 50 coyotes since the season opened. Fleming's outweighs the others by about 12 kilograms.
The coyote be stuffed and placed on permanent display at the store in Lewisporte.
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