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OR-3, a 3-year-old male wolf from the Imnaha pack. Image captured from video taken by an ODFW employee May 10, 2011, in Wallowa County.

Is that a wolf or a coyote?

Oregon wildlife officials want hunters and outdoor enthusiasts to step into the digital classroom for a quick canid quiz.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife posted a 20-question quiz online Tuesday designed to put a seemingly easy proposition to the test: Just pick whether the animal pictured is a coyote or a gray wolf.

It seems easy, right?

Coyotes have big ears, a smaller and pointier muzzle, shorter legs and smaller feet. It's also legal to hunt them.

Wolves, the bigger cousins, are still largely protected throughout the state (aside from recent examples where state officials have killed wolves tied to multiple livestock deaths).

Wolves are significantly larger and have blockier heads, shorter ears and longer legs. But when they are pups, they can resemble coyotes in the fall.

"We encourage everyone who spends time in the outdoors to take this quiz, but especially hunters that pursue coyotes," Roblyn Brown, ODFW acting wolf coordinator. "It is the responsibility of every hunter to know their target."

The quiz also has some helpful information on the animals' behavior and preferred habitats.

Coyotes are pretty much everywhere in Oregon. Wolves are largely confined to Northeast Oregon, though they've made inroads in Klamath and Jackson counties in recent years.

Killing a wolf is illegal unless done in self-defense or if a livestock owner spots an attack in the act. ODFW noted that a hunter in Grant County shot and killed a wolf in 2015 that was wearing a tracking collar.

The hunter said he thought the animal was a coyote, but coyotes would never sport a radio collar, the state said. He faced misdemeanor charges of taking the life of an endangered or threatened animal and a fine of up to $6,250.

Click here for the quiz.

 

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