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Coyotes roamed in Two Harbors near Agate Bay last week, causing a minor stir as they were mistaken for wolves by many. Wolf sightings are growing more common in the city, a wildlife expert says. Photos submitted by Dale Moe

Wolves elusive, not foreign in city

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What was thought of as a wolf invasion near Agate Bay in Two Harbors last week was likely a group of coyotes. Eyewitnesses took pictures of the creatures and they were examined by wildlife experts. The buzz created brought on more talk about the prevalence of wolves in Lake County.

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Bob Kirsch, the Department of Natural Resources area wildlife manager in Two Harbors, said the pictures from the Whiskey Row archeology site appeared to be brush wolves (coyotes) and the Department of Agriculture's Animal Control division concurred.

Kirsch said they have been seen over a three-week period. Kirsch said he has received a report of a grey wolf near the Pamida and Super One area this winter and he believes there are probably other wolves lingering about the city.

"I think a lot of people take it for granted that there are wolves around so they are not reporting when they see them," Kirsch said.

Mel Sando, Lake County Historical Society director, said he has spotted a few coyotes and a wolf near where the coyotes were seen last week. He said he hasn't seen much action since the city enacted an ordinance to stop feeding deer. Wolves come into areas where deer congregate, especially in the winter.

Since 2009, the city has discussed having an archery hunt of deer within city limits. On Monday, that idea was discussed by the Public Affairs Committee again.

There have been three zones identified in the city for a hunt. Two Harbors Police Chief Chris Donald and Assistant Chief Kevin Ruberg were at the meeting and talked about safety issues.

The areas would be north of Lake View national Golf Course, Segog, and in the Harbor Hills area. Members of the committee said the ordinance banning deer feeding has not affected their presence in the city.

Committee and city council member Seth McDonald said coyotes or wolves coming in city limits raises a concern about safety, especially for children. Swanson said wolves have been spotted at the golf course and on trail cameras in the area.

Committee and city council member Mary Henjum Rosati thought the problem would take care of itself through the course of nature in a lack of food supply. "It's part of living," she said.

No decision on the deer hunt was made.

Other cities in the region, including Duluth and Hermantown, have archery hunts.

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