Are There Wolves in Oklahoma?

Wolves no longer live in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Archeological Survey. The state’s bounty hunting, decimated bison population, and reduced deer population led to complete elimination of wolves in the 1930s. Unsubstantiated rumors of wolves still occur in Oklahoma, states the Oklahoma State Game Wardens Association Magazine.

Prior to the mid-1800s, Oklahoma had a healthy red wolf population. Wildlife experts believe that red wolves are the result of mating between timber wolves and coyotes.

In 1980, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service caught the last red wolves in Oklahoma to use them as part of a breeding program designed to save the species from worldwide extinction. Wildlife officials released the red wolves in breeding pairs seven years later, but their numbers never recovered.