Shepherd Kills Wolf, First Caught-in-act Case In Oregon

A Northeast Oregon shepherd shot and killed one of four wolves that attacked his flock last May, a first under the state’s caught-in-the-act provisions.

The incident occurred the evening of May 20 in the South Fork Walla Walla River country of northern Umatilla County.

After noting a disturbance amongst his flock, the herder spotted four wolves, including one with a lamb in its jaws.

A WALLA WALLA PACK WOLF STANDS IN THE SNOW OF NORTHEAST OREGON. (ODFW)

A WALLA WALLA PACK WOLF STANDS IN THE SNOW OF NORTHEAST OREGON. (ODFW)

The herder shot a wolf, and the next day the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife came out and corroborated the details of the attack, ruling it a confirmed wolf depredation.

ODFW’s report does not mention that the shepherd also shot one of the wolves, but a news report this morning says it occurred at that time and that the Oregon State Police investigated and “determined it was a lawful take under the ‘caught in the act’ provision” of the state wolf management plan.”

That allows livestock producers and their hands to “take a wolf caught biting, wounding, killing, or chasing livestock or working dogs, without a permit” in ODFW’s East Wolf Management Zone under certain circumstances, which per the agency include:

  • Wolf is in area of Oregon where it is not federally listed (currently, east of Hwys 395-78-95).
  • Wolf is on land owned or lawfully occupied by livestock producer.
  • No bait or other intentional actions to attract wolves are present.
  • Any take of a wolf is reported to ODFW within 24 hours. The scene must be preserved and the carcass not removed or disturbed.

ODFW spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy confirmed it was the first such case of a wolf being taken under the provisions.

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