THE FOLLOWING IS A WOLF DEPREDATION REPORT FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
In September, WDFW staff investigated four wolf depredations in the Leadpoint wolf pack territory, in addition to a depredation confirmed on Aug. 22 reported in the August monthly wolf report.
On Sept. 1, WDFW staff investigated a dead calf that had been reported by a range rider in a private pasture in Stevens County. The investigation revealed lacerations and punctures in the right groin and hindquarter and around the hock of the leg with associated subcutaneous hemorrhaging. Staff classified the incident as a confirmed wolf depredation attributed to the Leadpoint pack. It is estimated the calf was killed less than 24 hours prior to the investigation. WDFW staff removed the carcass and disposed of it at a carcass sanitation pit.
On Sept. 16, WDFW staff investigated a dead cow found by a range rider in a private pasture in Stevens County. The investigation revealed lacerations with associated subcutaneous hemorrhaging on the right flank. Staff classified the incident as a confirmed wolf depredation attributed to the Leadpoint pack and estimated the cow was killed less than 24 hours prior to the investigation. The livestock producer buried the carcass.
On Sept. 19, WDFW staff investigated two injured calves in a private pasture in Stevens County. On the first injured calf, staff identified several lacerations on the left hindquarter and evidence of hemorrhaging through the presence of swelling on the calf’s inner right hindquarter. Staff estimated the injuries to be no more than 72 hours old. The producer is treating the calf at their home place and it is expected to make a full recovery.
On the second injured calf, staff discovered large, open puncture wounds and lacerations around the groin, hindquarters, and along both hamstrings. Staff noted swelling in the area around the punctures. These incidents were classified as confirmed wolf depredations attributed to the Leadpoint pack. Staff estimate the injuries were sustained within 24-48 hours of the investigation.
The affected livestock producer utilizes a Cattle Producers of Washington (CPoW) range rider and added a second rider on Sept. 2. Riders and producers aimed to keep cattle in the valley bottom and out of a treed area, and trees and brush were removed in an area wolves like to cross. Sick or injured livestock were removed from the pasture when found and carcasses were properly disposed of. WDFW staff deployed a radio-activated guard (RAG) box and several Fox lights in the area where the depredation events occurred.
WDFW has documented five depredation events resulting in three dead and two injured livestock since Aug. 22 attributed to the Leadpoint pack. WDFW staff are discussing the depredations and use of non-lethal measures in this pack territory. Staff will discuss how to most effectively address this situation moving forward and provide a recommendation to the Director.