It’s been a relatively quiet few months, but Washington wolf managers are reporting a confirmed wolf depredation earlier this month.
They say an adult cow was killed on leased private land where the Wedge Pack roams in northern Stevens County.
“Bite wounds were documented on the tail, both rear legs, right elbow, and throat,” WDFW wrote in a report out this afternoon. “Hemorrhaging was noted at all locations accompanied by bite wounds with varying degrees of severity. Based on the combination of bite wounds with associated hemorrhaging and wolf sign in the area, WDFW staff classified this event as a confirmed wolf depredation.”
Agency staffers also investigated what led to the death of another cow a quarter mile away but couldn’t make a final determination on it.
“Despite a thorough investigation, no sign of injury by wildlife was located and the cause of death for this cow was unconfirmed,” WDFW reported.
Both dead cows were investigated June 12 after being found by ranch hands.
“Proactive, non-lethal deterrents (range riding, human presence, monitoring via trail camera, and hazing of wolves when seen) were in place at the time of the depredation,” WDFW reported.
The cattle herd has been moved away from the scene and trail cameras were put up to monitor the area.
The Wedge wolves numbered three when they were counted during last winter’s annual survey. The pack was mostly wiped out in 2012 following a long string of depredations.
The incident is the first confirmed wolf kill since the first days of 2019. It’s the first attributed to the pack in some time.