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Oregon officials confirm another wolf depredation

Cassandra Profita

This news just came in from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife: A dead calf was found Saturday on private land east of Joseph in the Threebuck Creek Drainage. ODFW has confirmed today the calf was killed by wolves.

The area east of Joseph has become a hotspot for wolf depredations in Oregon. Wolves were suspected in this calf’s death, and ODFW officials examined it the same day. The carcass, according to the investigation report, was mostly consumed. It was found in the Threebuck Creek drainage.

ODFW has proposed killing two wolves from the Imnaha pack to reduce wolf depredations of livestock in northeast Oregon, but the plan has been put on hold pending the outcome of a court challenge from wolf advocates.

This new wolf depredation is bound to add fuel to an already heated debate over what to do about livestock losses as the Oregon works toward growing wolf populations to the point where they can be removed from the state endangered species list. Here are details from the state’s report on the dead calf found near Joseph on Saturday:

“The calf carcass was estimated to have been 48 hours old. A wolf track was found in the area near the carcass. GPS-radio collar data shows that the wolf OR-4 was not present in the area of the depredation. This area has a history of regular wolf activity.

ODFW observed evidence of a struggle from a bed area under a nearby tree to the carcass (approx. 15 yard distance from carcass). A fresh wolf track was observed near the carcass. Deep wounds (pre-mortem) in left shoulder muscle tissue that were bloody and matched scrapes believed to be wolf bites on the hair side of the hide. Bite marks on remaining hind-leg hide and also on the front shoulder showed 1 ½”canine tooth spacing. Though evidence of coyote scavenging was observed, no other large carnivore sign was found and the carcass was largely consumed in a relatively short time period.”