All quiet on wolves

·2 min read

Sep. 27—No additional wolves have been killed from the Lookout Mountain pack in eastern Baker County since Sept. 17, and the pack hasn't been implicated in any recent attacks on cattle.

Wolves from the Lookout Mountain pack have killed at least six head of cattle, and injured three others, since mid July.

On the morning of Sept. 17, employees from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), firing rifles from a helicopter, shot and killed three wolves from the pack, including its breeding male.

Michelle Dennehy, an ODFW spokesperson, wrote in an email to the Herald Monday morning, Sept. 27, that no wolves have been killed since Sept. 17.

ODFW announced on Sept. 16 that agency workers intended to kill up to four wolves from the pack, not including the breeding female.

Four ranchers who have lost cattle to wolves are also authorized to kill up to two wolves from the pack, not including the breeding female. That permit continues through Oct. 31.

ODFW employees shot and killed two other Lookout Mountain wolves, both of them pups born this spring, on Aug. 1.

The most recent confirmed wolf attack on cattle happened on Sept. 16, according to ODFW reports.

ODFW employees found the carcass of a 450-pound calf on Sept. 17 on private land near Daly Creek, north of Lookout Mountain.

ODFW workers also confirmed on Sept. 20 that wolves had injured a 450-pound calf, also on private land, but biologists estimated that attack happened about three weeks earlier.

The calf was found in the Timber Canyon area north of Little Lookout Mountain.

ODFW officials estimate the Lookout Mountain pack consists of six wolves, including the breeding female.

By killing the breeding male, ODFW hopes to still allow the breeding female to raise any remaining juveniles. Reducing the number of juveniles she will need to feed increases the likelihood that some will survive, according to a press release from the agency.

Baker County Sheriff Travis Ash sent a letter to ODFW Director Curt Melcher on Sept. 13 asking the state to kill the entire Lookout Mountain pack.

Three days later ODFW announced that it would try to kill up to four wolves, citing the ongoing threat to livestock and the evidence that the Lookout Mountain pack has been targeting cattle despite significant populations of elk and deer in the area.

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