The wolf was a common animal in most European Countries in the pre-modern era and made it’s way into much of the folklore. We have stories about the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood and of course the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
Illustration by Francis Barlow (1687) – Wikimedia Commons
In the United States the Gray Wolf was a problem with ranchers and farmers until it was almost exterminated in the last century. Today it has made somewhat of a comeback and is mainly found in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Although there have been occasional reports in Illinois I am unaware of any proven unlike Mountain Lions which bodies have been recovered.
My main endeavor is nature recording and as such I am always interested in what people are hearing in the woods or rural areas of Illinois.
The 4th of April, 2005 I recorded some unusual howls near Pawnee, Illinois. I labelled them the Illinois Howl. I was convinced that they were not coyotes and took them to a neighbor of mine who has raised coon hounds for 30 years and spends more time in the woods at night than any one I know. His statement was “That sound is not a coyote, I don’t know what it is, perhaps it is a wolf.”
I submitted the sound on a lot of hunting forums. I had several readers who contacted me privately and stated that they had heard the sound while coyote hunting and always explained it as being a different sounding coyote or perhaps a wolf.
Recently I spoke with an individual from Eastern Illinois who has been hearing what he termed a “very low mournful howl, perhaps from a wolf.” He listened to the Illinois Howl Illinois Howl on my website and exclaimed “that is the sound exactly.” Hopefully with the landowners help we can get a good quality recording.
So what we are left with is several people who say they are hearing sounds that match the Illinois Howl Illinois Howl. Those reports include Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Illinois.
And each time the listeners say that the sound does not appear to be a coyote but deeper, more like a wolf. Are these sounds actually not from a coyote or wolf but perhaps instead from a sasquatch? We can never be for sure without a video verifying the sounds. In each of the areas where this sound has been reported there has also been suspected sasquatch activity.