Because of two additional depredations by the Harl Butte Pack in the Northeast Corner of the state, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved the killing of up to four wolves. ODFW said the depredations took place between September 29th and October 1st. In response, lethal permits have been issued to kill wolves in pastures on public or private lands currently occupied by livestock.
The Harl Butte pack is currently estimated at nine wolves (six adults and three wolves born this past spring). The younger wolves are likely to weigh between 50-60 pounds by this time of year while adult wolves generally weigh 70-115 pounds. Any wolf in the pack may be taken under the lethal control authorization.
ODFW has removed four adult wolves from the Harl Butte pack since Aug. 3, when it first authorized lethal control after non-lethal measures failed to prevent wolf-livestock depredation. The fourth wolf was killed Aug. 25th
“With continued non-lethal measures by the livestock producers throughout the grazing season, we were hoping to see depredations stop after removing four wolves. And six weeks had passed with no depredations since mid-August. Unfortunately, it didn’t last,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW acting wolf coordinator. “Grazing season is not over and these cattle will be on public land until Oct. 31 and private land even later depending on the weather.”
“As wildlife managers, we are responsible for balancing the conservation of wolves on the landscape with our obligation to manage wolves so that damage to livestock is limited. We need to take further action with this pack,” said Brown.
Livestock producers in the area have continued to use non-lethal preventive measures to limit problems with wolves. These measures include: increased human presence during daytime hours and spending nights outside to protect cattle from wolves; grouped cattle into one pasture instead of several; removed horses from a pasture after ODFW observed a wolf interacting with the horses; and a county and a volunteer range rider have patrolled the area and hazed wolves away from cattle.
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