SALEM, Oregon – There are two fewer wolves in Wallowa County’s Harl Butte Pack. Michelle Dennehy, the wildlife communications director for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife tells KUMA News that lethal action against the pack that had been preying on cattle played out as planned this week.
“ODFW has killed two adult un-collared wolves from the Harl Butte Pack in northeast Oregon,” Dennehy said. “We killed one Sunday night and one Tuesday morning.”
After repeated attacks on cattle in the area by the pack, livestock producers had asked that the whole pack be eliminated. ODFW denied that request, opting for a more measured approach. The ranchers impacted by the pack have used numerous methods of non-lethal approaches to deter the wolves from attacking, including range riders. The department decided to attempt to find and kill two adult wolves without collars, and they succeeded in that goal.
Now, ODFW will wait and see.
“If there’s another confirmed depredation, potentially there will be more lethal control,” she said. “At this point, we’re just monitoring the situation. We took that first step, the incremental take that we had planned.”
There is one collared wolf in the pack, OR-50. He is believed to be the pack’s breeding male. Dennehy says the pack attacked cattle on the public and private grazing land seven times in a year. There were the same number of thwarted attacks due to rancher non-lethal intervention during that time.