Things are getting busy again in Northeast Washington, home to the most wolves in the state and increasing efforts to keep them from tangling with livestock.
On the heels of May 20’s confirmed wolf depredation in northern Ferry County, state wildlife managers investigated a dead calf in neighboring Stevens County last Friday.
They found that wolves had scavenged on the carcass, but there were “no indicators” the predators had killed the calf, so the loss went down as an “unconfirmed cause of death.”
WDFW reported that the producer has been using deterrents such as human presence, flagged fencing and trail cameras to keep watch on livestock. They were also provided with fox lights, horns, fireworks and a state-contracted range rider to “help reduce wolf activity.”
The agency also said this month it had investigated at least three other dead or injured Stevens County calves and sheep, classifying them as bear and cougar attacks and a nondepredation event.
Attempts to catch the bruin and lion were unsuccessful, WDFW reported.
Staffers also checked on a report of missing cattle in Stevens County but found none.
Also in the county in May, biologists spent time trying to catch Huckleberry Pack wolves to get telemetry on them, but were unsuccessful.
In June they hope to put collars on members of the Lookout, Grouse Flats, Beaver Creek and Togo Packs. The Togos were involved with the aforementioned confirmed calf depredation in Ferry County a week and a half ago.
State and county wolf works also discovered new wolf activity in the Profanity Peak region, to the south of the Togos’ initial range dot and where seven members of a pack that preyed on more than a dozen cattle were lethally removed in 2016.
They’ll be working with local producers to get ahead of potential conflicts as turnout on federal grazing allotments in the Kettle Range begins, WDFW reports.
And biologists will be following up on recent reports from the Central and South Cascades. The latter area is where dung detection dogs will be used as well to try and find wolves.