No population exists in South Dakota and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks does not manage for wolves. 

Transient wolves from surrounding states have been documented traveling through South Dakota, but are very uncommon.

Wolves are currently federally-protected under the Endangered Species Act. As of Dec. 23, 2014, harvesting gray wolves through recreational hunting or trapping across South Dakota is prohibited. However, an endangered species, such as the gray wolf, may be taken in defense of human life. 


Coyote (Canis lantrans) Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
Face Narrow and pointed; small nose pad Broad and blocky; large nose pad
Ears Taller and pointed Short and rounded
 Shoulder Height 21-24 inches 26-32 inches
Length 3.5 - 4.5 feet (nose to tail tip) 4.5-6.5 feet (nose to tail tip)
Weight 15-50 pounds 70-150 pounds
Coat Gray or reddish-brown, often grizzzled, often with whitish throat, chest and/or belly. Grizzled gray is the most common, but can also be mostly or all black; white or cream coats rare outside far northern populations.