WDFW Plans to Take Lethal Action to Change Wolf Pack’s Behavior

Wolf

OLYMPIA, Wash. -(Ammoland.com)- State wildlife managers plan to remove members of a wolf pack that has repeatedly preyed on livestock in Stevens County since 2015.

Jim Unsworth, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) authorized his staff to take lethal action against the Smackout wolf pack, based on four occasions where wolves preyed on livestock since last September.

Unsworth said that action, set to begin this week, is consistent with Washington's Wolf Management Plan of 2011, which authorizes WDFW to take lethal measures to address repeated attacks on livestock.

It is also consistent with the department's policy that allows removing wolves if they prey on livestock three times in a 30-day period or four times in a 10-month period, said Donny Martorello, WDFW's lead wolf manager.

That policy was developed last year by WDFW and its 18-member Wolf Advisory Group, which represents the concerns of environmentalists, hunters, and livestock ranchers.

“The purpose of this action is to change the pack's behavior, while also meeting the state's wolf-conservation goals,” Martorello said. “That means incrementally removing wolves and assessing the results before taking any further action.”

The Smackout pack is one of 20 wolf packs documented in Washington state by WDFW in 2016. At that time, the pack was estimated to consist of eight wolves, but it has since produced an unknown number of pups.

Martorello noted that the state's wolf population is growing at a rate of about 30 percent each year.

The pack's latest depredation on livestock was discovered July 18 by an employee of the livestock owner who found an injured calf with bite marks consistent with a wolf attack in a leased federal grazing area.

During the previous month, the rancher reported to WDFW that his employee had caught two wolves in the act of attacking livestock and killed one of them. The department has since determined that those actions were consistent with state law, which allows livestock owners and their employees to take lethal action to protect their livestock in areas of the state where wolves are no longer listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Over the past two months, radio signals from GPS collars attached to two of the pack's members have indicated that those wolves were frequently within a mile of that site during the previous two months, Martorello said.

“This rancher has made concerted efforts to protect his livestock using non-lethal measures,” Martorello said. “Our goal is to change the pack's behavior before the situation gets worse.”

Since 2015, WDFW has documented that wolves have killed three calves and injured three others in the same area of Stevens County.

Gray wolves are classified as “endangered” under Washington state law, but are no longer protected in the eastern third of the state under the federal Endangered Species Act. The state's wolf plan sets population recovery objectives and outlines methods for minimizing wolf-livestock conflicts

For more information on WDFW's action, see Update on Washington Wolves on their website.

WDFW's Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol is available on their website.

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Tuneaby
Tuneaby
2 years ago

I do hope that your very boorish childish tirade has made you feel as elitist as you desire’ You are the prime example of why so many correctional officers have the reputation of being power driven bullies. Fortunately, the numbers like you are minimal. I feel very sorry for you. It is very sad when one can’t come up with any statement of reason, they must resort to doing everything they can think of to demean another. I imagine you grew from 5 ft. 5 inches, 110 lbs soaking wet to 6′ 4′, 285 lbs. after your last post. That’s… Read more »

don
don
2 years ago

what good are wolfs anyway right gee i wonder why the good LORD above bothered to put those nasty good for nothing killers on Noah,s ARK in the first place maybe GOD made a mistake or is someone else screwed up I didn,t know GOD made mistakes

don

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
2 years ago
Reply to  don

Well done, I suppose that God may have intended wolves to be good at eliminating sources of nutrition like yourself from nature, if impotent urban food stuffs would actually go out into nature. Since you don’t go out into nature, wolves kill and eat every other animal that wolves can get ahold of, subjecting those animals to a horrible death. Each wolf eats about one deer a week. On average fifty-two deer per year. Why do you hate deer so much? Our forefathers worked hard to get rid of wolves, and when those forefathers realized that the wolf was nearly… Read more »

BillyBob Texas
BillyBob Texas
2 years ago

OK – it’s OK to use ‘lethal methods’…….entire article stated tht 27 times……but not ONE example.

WHAAAAAAT?? Shoot the Alpha? Or shoot the Alpha’s best buddy? Try to talk to the Alpha and ask him to go eat Grizzleys instead…? What?

joe martin
joe martin
2 years ago

Like no one predicted wolves being reintroduced would have an impact on livestock (both rangeland and domestic) or wildlife populations. The various species of wolf (Timber and Mexican) that have been reintroduced are in the most part, in environments that never existed when the wolves populated the areas naturally. As such, it is not their “natural” environment as the USFWS and liberal ignorant environmentalist would have us believe. How natural are the highways, fences, roads, houses, power lines and other man-made structures that never existed when wolves roamed the country prior to Europeans? How natural is it to have wolves… Read more »

oldvet
oldvet
2 years ago

The wolf is just doing what it was born and bred to do. Like all wild animals it is smart enough to see the easy target.
Now the government is going to pay someone to bring guns into what has been a “gun free zone” . Why does that work for wild animals when the government says it will not work on human animals? Perhaps schools, churches, GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS, movie theaters, etc. should be put under the jurisdiction of WDFW.

Ivano
Ivano
2 years ago

Another example of the unions supporting democrats so blue collar workers pay taxes to support paying government officials outrageous salaries to kill wolfs that sportsmen would kill for no charge to the tax payer or ranchers. The real endangered species are our freedoms, taken away by Washington D.C. liberals who are keep in office by sportsmen how still have not figured out they have voted their rights way by supporting progressive liberals who are supported by the labor unions.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
2 years ago

So the state of Washington’s taxpayers have to pay someone to hunt them, when hunters would pay the state of Washington’s Dept of Fish and Game a huge fortune for the privilege to hunt them? Typical governmental answer.

DON
DON
2 years ago

THREE OR FOUR ATTACKS ON LIVE STOCK IS NOTHING, MORE CATT LE DIE ON THERE OWN IN 10 MO JUST AN EXCUSE TO KILL, WILD LIFE WERE THERE BEFORE RANCHERS ,GIVE THEM A BREAK

Colonialgirl
Colonialgirl
2 years ago
Reply to  DON

Thanks for confirming that you indeed are an ignorant enviro-wienie with no commonsense and are unable to think intelligently. Now BACK to your vegan life style and QUIT wasting semi-rotten veggies, just hold your nose nad munch away.

VE Veteran - Old Man's Club
VE Veteran - Old Man's Club
2 years ago
Reply to  Colonialgirl

Wolves are mobile targets – if they are attacking your livestock (defenseless critters) you have every right to put large holes in their bodies. Anyone who says different is a moron. Wolves have their place in the food chain, and it isn’t livestock control!

FarmerDave
FarmerDave
2 years ago
Reply to  DON

Please post your address so we can populate your particular area with a dozen beautiful, kind, furry wolves, to keep you hugging trees and other predators.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
2 years ago
Reply to  DON

, It is something if you are the cow and her calf. Why do you hate Bossy, with the big brown eyes, and her loving baby Betsy, so much?

Tuneaby
Tuneaby
2 years ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

Your attempt at humor is only outdone by your failure to back your proclamations with verifiable fact.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
2 years ago
Reply to  Tuneaby

@Tunabe, Which did you think was the humor and which did you think was the unverifiable fact?

Tuneaby
Tuneaby
2 years ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

It is patently obvious that you are a tad bit over 10 years old, at least physically, ie your attempt at sarcastic humor
. As far as proclamations /statements not backed by verifiable fact, prior experience; as you were asked to back up a statement you made on this listing, with references with verifiable reference(s).
Since you did not provide such, it is within reason that you had none to offer .

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
2 years ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@Tuneby, You are too insignificant for me to care if you like my humor or not. Second, you are powerless to give orders to anyone. Third, a cow and her calf are more important to the world than you are. Fourth, You reason, draft, and punctuate poorly. Finally, I’ve had lots of privates, over the years, just like you sent to the Regional Correctional Facility, for well deserved attitude adjustments.