UPDATED 9:00 P.M.
WDFW late this afternoon reported killing a Sherman Pack wolf earlier today in an attempt to try and head off further cattle depredations by the sole known remaining pack member.
The news comes a week after lethal removals were authorized and half a week after the pair of Ferry County wolves killed another calf, their fifth confirmed depredation since mid-June.
The agency reports the latest depredation occurred in the Colville National Forest, near the other attacks on a grazing allotment where the Diamond M runs their cattle in summer.
Unlike with the Smackout Pack, where two wolves were initially removed and then operations paused, WDFW has begun evaluating the last Sherman wolf’s response to today’s actions. But another depredation could trigger another removal and end the pack.
It also means that tribal hunters have one fewer wolf available in their quota for the “north half,” where the Colville Tribes jointly manage wildlife with the state.
WDFW reports the livestock producer will continue to rotate five contracted range riders through their allotments to maintain human presence near the cattle and that the riders were patrolling in the Kettle Range nearly a month before turnout.
“We’re monitoring the situation and the three additional range riders we funded earlier this month are continuing to support conflict deterrence measures in the area,” ssid Chase Gunnell of Conservation Northwest, a member of WDFW’s Wolf Advisory Group which signed on to the current lethal removal protocols last year.
The agency came under a sustained Twitter barrage this week from wolf fanatics demanding that it not remove depradating wolves.