Three More Depredations By OPT Wolf Pack Confirmed In Ferry County, WA

Wolf Tracks
Three More Depredations By OPT Wolf Pack Confirmed In Ferry County, WA

USA – -( On Jan. 4, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff were informed of dead livestock by the Stevens-Ferry County Wildlife Specialist on a U.S. Forest Service grazing allotment in Ferry County. The livestock producer and ranch staff were actively looking for a few cow-calf pairs remaining on the allotment along the Kettle Crest.

The carcasses were discovered through investigation of wolf location information provided to the livestock producer by the County Wildlife Specialist. The carcasses were within the OPT pack territory.

The producer who owns the depredated livestock is the same producer that experienced wolf depredations by the OPT pack in 2018. The carcasses were discovered northwest of the allotment where the 2018 depredations occurred.

On Jan. 3, the producer searched the area of the reported wolf location information and discovered one live cow and two calf carcasses. The live cow was removed from the area by the producer and was reported to have no injuries. Due to the remote location of the carcasses and lack of daylight, WDFW staff could not reach the area to investigate the dead livestock until Jan. 5. During the investigation of the carcasses initially reported, department staff found and conducted an investigation on an additional cow carcass discovered in close proximity to the others. In total, staff investigated and confirmed three wolf depredations. The three carcasses (two calves and one cow) were within 850 meters of one another.

Investigation of the first calf revealed partial consumption of the internal organs and back half of the carcass. External examination of the hide indicated bite lacerations and puncture wounds on the right and left hindquarter. Lacerations and puncture wounds were present on the inner and outer portion of both legs. Skinning the carcass on the left and right hindquarters revealed hemorrhaging of the muscle tissue.

The remains of the second calf included the vertebral column and two front legs attached to a piece of hide. All of the soft tissue except the remaining hide had been consumed or removed, and the ribs and one of the long bones had been chewed and broken. There was evidence on the hide of significant hemorrhaging in the left armpit of the calf.

The investigation of the cow carcass revealed significant wounds and consumption of the soft tissues of the head and puncture wounds above the hock on the left rear leg. Skinning the leg revealed significant hemorrhaging and tissue damage immediately underlying those wounds.

The damage to all three of the carcasses investigated was indicative of wolf depredation and wolf tracks were documented at each site. In addition, GPS data from the radio-collared wolf in the OPT pack showed he was in the immediate vicinity during the time of the incidents. The data were also consistent with the age of tracks found at the site during the investigation. The locations and sign further suggest that the wolves involved in the depredations remained in the immediate vicinity for about a week.

No proactive wolf deterrents were in place because cattle were presumed by department staff to be off the grazing allotment. The vast majority of the livestock had been removed almost two months earlier. Deep snow (24-40 inches), avalanche conditions, and the distance from vehicles (more than 10 miles away) prevented WDFW staff or the livestock producer from removing the carcasses or deploying other responsive deterrents. No other livestock were detected in the area.

Previously, the OPT pack was implicated in a total of 16 depredations (13 injured and three killed livestock) in under two months. The additional depredations bring the total to 19 depredations (13 injured and six killed livestock) since Sept. 4, 2018.

On Nov. 13, WDFW Director Kelly Susewind paused action seeking to lethally remove the two remaining wolves from the OPT pack that repeatedly preyed on cattle in Ferry County. WDFW staff previously attempted to remove the remaining two wolves in the pack multiple times over a two-week period, but were unable to locate the uncollared pack member due to the dense forest canopy.

Director Susewind is now reassessing this situation and considering next steps.

For more information, please see previous updates on the OPT pack from the following dates:

  • Sept 7, 11, 12, 14, 18, 25, 28
  • Oct 5, 19, 25, 26
  • Nov 15

About The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources. The department operates under a dual mandate from the Washington Legislature to protect and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats and provide sustainable, fish- and wildlife-related recreational and commercial opportunities.

  • 22 thoughts on “Three More Depredations By OPT Wolf Pack Confirmed In Ferry County, WA

    1. If they would just point a finger at them and tell them no I’m sure they would put their tail between their legs and go lay down and not eat any more bovine. If that doesn’t work then treating them like a predator would be the next best thing.
      Disclaimer: I am not suggesting any action, just offering alternatives.

    2. This was the main reason why our ancestors had the good sense to elim8nate the wolves. The reintroduction of them was the height of stupidity. Destroy them all, again and be done with it.

      1. Did you notice, back in the day, that the people pushing for “re-introduction” of wolves were from the large metropolitan areas on the east and west coasts? I’m quite certain that the program they instituted was intended to punish and inconvenience the ranchers, farmers (evil “meat producers”), and other predominantly conservative peoples of our nation. If “re-introduction” to save a “valuable” species from an endangered status was the true goal, then why only in those places? I’ve said all along, since this foolishness started that for the program to exemplify their intent (from the “pure goodness of their hearts” – bless them!) that we needed to re-introduce wolves, etc., to Central Park in NYC, the Beltway in D.C., Seattle, San Francisco and such places. Wonder how they would have felt about their children playing in the park with those cute furry wolves that they think are so vital to a healthy ecosystem???

    3. I think the producer gets reimbursed. Still, it is just a matter of time b4 brother wolf eats someone. Every day, idiots go into the wilderness unarmed.

    4. There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who “love Nature” while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature.'” The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of “Nature” — but beavers and their darns are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-fade absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers’ purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the Naturist reveals his hatred for his own race-i.e., his own self-hatred.
      In the case of “Naturists” such self-hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot. But hatred is too strong-an-emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt\are the most they rate.
      As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women-it strikes me as a fine arrangement — and perfectly “natural”

    5. It was their land and they never bother anyone until we arrived. They are also extremely valuable for the ecosystem which we and cattle destroy.

      1. I trust you had your “sarcasm” button firmly engaged while typing that. Some brands of computers and/or email formats do not provide a proper flagging.

      2. Gray wolves were once found all over the Northern Hemisphere. Hunted to almost to the likes of the Dodo Bird. However, the John Wayne’s, Ted Nugnent’s, etc love to kill for the sexual thrill. Wolves were here long before the human foot print. Ranchers do have issues as they can’t understand what the Lion King as all about.

        1. @Ridgerunner, I was all over the Northern Hemisphere long before the green rat fink. Does that mean that I get to stay, but he has to go? The Dodo bird was smarter than the grf, so should the grf extinct himself, like the Dodo? Gfr = sugar coated flucktard.

    6. Wolves are opportunistic predators. Given a choice of a slow defenseless bovine calf or an antlered elk or moose the wolves will always choose the safest prey. In areas where wolves have been reintroduced that are not remotely similar to the environment where they once lived 100+ years ago (New Mexico, Arizona), it is ludicrous to think that they will simply become part of the current ecosystem. The methods used to track and record the wolves brings nothing “natural” to the operation. The wolves are born in captivity, fed beef, implanted with tracking devices, released and then darted & sedated on a regular basis to take blood & tissue samples, and in some cases, have collars attached and even painted with an identification number. The environment in the Southwest is nothing like the Pacific Northwest and the Montana, Idaho & Wyoming environments and the wolves are Mexican wolves, much smaller than the Timber wolves further north and west. Mexican wolves resemble coyotes in size, shape and color and most people can’t tell the difference at a glance. What may work further north is a joke in the Southwest and doomed to fail from the beginning.

    7. So, what’s the issue?
      Grazing on leased land from the citizens of the USA. Your cows are in the middle of the forest where there are wolves. What do you expect?
      Cows are tasty.

      1. If you gut shoot them there is no forensic evidence and they run off to die elsewhere, but you have to shut up about it.*

        *footnote for green rat finks: the preceding is a hypothetical for academic discussion, only.

        1. Will assure you that they will investigate that wolf death more fervently than the rancher’s livestock.

          I was at the last Comprehensive Wolf Management Plan Scoping hearing in Spokane. This crazy wild eyed conservationist driven individual showed up with the notion that the WDFW should use some of their land to start an animal husbandry program. The logic being that if the WDFW had to manage animals and wolves in proximity, they would soon develop suitable plans that were amendable to both parties. Keeping in mind of course that the ranchers put serious time into these animals before death and they have to raise new animals, putting serious time and resources again into the new animals. That said there is a double indemnity clause that gives the rancher a two for one, if it’s proven beyond a reasonable doubt that wolves killed his livestock.

          Fast forward to Nov. 2018. That same crazed wild eyed conservationist attended a teleconference for Susewind to meet the public here in the Columbia Basin. The director was taking questions, so one was asked; “why are we not finding suitable habitat on the mainstem Columbia and Snake Rivers to plant fish on?” Answer; “I think we are doing that. Send me an email and I will look into it.” Sounded reasonable, so I did.

          Went into how the dams actually increased habitat, blah, blah, blah, and that no studies have been done to find flooded ancient redds suitable for natal spawning grounds. Blah, blah, blah. Waited for response, and got a call from a biologist out of my district, 2 weeks later. Understand this, they have been holding me on the outside for so long, I know a flim flam when it’s in progress. I think you know why they black ball me at this point. So about 4 clicks in the WDFW site I found it! They have a public hearing on the management plans for future salmon rearing the weekend before the biologist finally contacted me. Now Susewind knew about that hearing and he knew I was interested in the subject, so it’s hard to believe it wasn’t on purpose. Again, from 2008 to 2012 I had been isolated from the mother clumpers enough times to smell the progressive rats long before they pooped all over the place. Long story short, the biologist had a bunch of BS reasons why not, and was talking in complete double speak at a rate I’ve never seen before.

          For all that read this, going forward, I will be contacting some of the people that have been disenfranchised by the game departments, and getting special interests involved. These people talk about “Science,” but when you flesh them out, “Their ‘science’ is based in heart felt supposition.” More dangerous than that, it aint about what’s right or wrong; it’s about control, period. Susewind started his conversation with, “It’s important we CONTROL the Narrative.” Unfortunately for him, a dyed in the wool Constitutional Libertarian was trained in that very discipline…

      2. Idiot there were NO wolves until the envirowhacky weenies introduced them to the area. DO learn TRUTH and FACTS before spewing a load of idiocy.

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