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OR: Shooting of wolf in Okanogan County deemed justified

By Jefferson Robbins

WAUCONDA — A rancher who shot a wolf in northeast Okanogan County acted within his rights and won’t face penalties, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says.

The April 29 shooting killed one young male wolf believed to be from the Beaver Creek Pack, in a part of the state where wolves have no federal protection. The wolf was approaching a fenced cattle pasture near the rancher’s home, where three newborn calves were present. 

The landowner shot it when it was 56 yards from the fenceline. The presence of other wolves near the ranch had been noted last year.

t’s what Fish and Wildlife calls a “caught in the act” scenario, in which livestock owners are justified in shooting a wolf, which has state protection. Department director Kelly Sussewind has ordered employees to make public safety a priority in its management of wolves. Two calves and one grown cow have been killed by eastern Washington wolves this year; 10 livestock kills were recorded in 2018.