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OR: Wolf at the door in upper Imnaha

By Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain

Another case of wolf depredation in Wallowa County has become official.

The Harl Butte wolf pack struck a rancher’s herd about 15-20 miles south of the town of Imnaha on private property April 7. The rancher found a 150-pound calf and its mother dead in a riverbottom hay pasture. The rancher notified Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as he suspected a wolf or wolves were to blame.

The state conducted an investigation of the cow and calf the same day. The calf was mostly consumed, and its carcass had numerous bite and scrape marks on it shoulders with most of the tissue and hindquarters missing.

Wolf tracks were found around both carcasses, but the mother, about 200 yards away, did not have external or internal signs of biting. The GPS radio collar on wolf OR-50 of the Harl Butte pack indicated it was at the site around 6 a.m. that morning.

The state confirmed April 13 a wolf depredation on the calf but determined the death of the cow was not predation related. The most recent depredations attributed to the pack were on two grazing allotments in October 2016 around 5-10 miles west of the last site.