A northern Ferry County wolf or wolves killed a young calf early this week as a new pack appears to have resumed its livestock-chasing ways.
Washington wildlife managers believes the Togo Pack is responsible for this depredation as well as two early last November that resulted in an injured and a dead calf.
Another wolf was shot in the area late last October after being caught by a producer in the act of pursuing cattle.
The latest incident occurred north of Orient, a small community along the lower Kettle River, and was discovered by a woodcutter who heard a cow bawling and observed a black-coated wolf running from the scene.
The producer was alerted and told WDFW that the calf had been seen alive earlier that day.
It was described as a week-and-a-half old black Angus owned by Ron Eslick and was found dead on federal ground about a third of a mile from the rancher’s brother’s residence, according to a Capital Press story.
The carcass was necropsied by a state official as well as a local county wildlife specialist.
“The investigators found that the calf had bite lacerations and puncture wounds to both rear quarters, upper rear legs, neck and sternum, consistent with predation by a wolf. Hemorrhaging was visible near the bite wounds and was also found in the left front armpit, where no lacerations or punctures were visible. Evidence indicated the calf was alive during the depredation event,” WDFW reported.
“A lot of the quarters were eaten off,” Eslick told the Press. “If we had come two hours later, it would have been eaten and nobody would have known anything about it.”
According to WDFW, the producer had been using at least one proactive deterrence measure, checking on their animals daily.
The agency’s depredation protocols require at least two to be used and to have failed before lethal removal is considered.
Later on Sunday, a range rider was put on the job of keeping the Togos and cattle apart.
Last November’s two qualifying depredations occurred despite multiple deterrents being employed.
WDFW can go after problem wolves if there are four attacks in a rolling 10-month period or three in 30 days, with various criteria.
The Togo Pack is a new one and local reports last year helped WDFW confirm it.
It had two members at the end of 2017 and is named for a nearby mountain in the northern Kettle Range.