ENDANGERED SPECIES -- Three incidents involving gray wolves are being investigated this week by Washington wildlife officers, according to Donny Martorello, Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf program leader.
- On Oct. 6, a dead wolf pup was documented in the Profanity Peak Pack area northeast of Republic; the cause of death is listed as unknown.
- On Oct. 11, WDFW received a report of a lone wolf shot in the Blue Mountains area, reportedly involved in a wolf-dog incident.
- On Oct. 14, a wolf-caused injury to a calf was confirmed on private property in Stevens County; the area is in the territory of the Smackout Pack.
Although the injured calf is the first livestock depredation officially attributed to the Smackout Pack this year, four cattle where confirmed killed by wolves in July in the Dirty Shirt Pack territory farther south.
Hazing and range riding has been heavily employed to deter wolves from livestock in the territory of these two packs this summer.
In the Washington portion of the Blue Mountains, wolves have been higher profile this year. A radio-collared wolf from Oregon has been scavenging on the bounty of white-tailed deer dead or dying from the bluetongue outbreak, said Madonna Luers, department spokeswoman.
That wolf, tagged OR14, also has been spooking cattle herds, said Scott Rasley, WDFW wildlife conflict specialist in the area.
The Tucannon Pack was reported hanging around 250 cow-calf pairs, prompting a rancher to employ eight range riders to guard the herd as the wolves moved from Columbia County through the Lick Fork area to Little Butte in Asotin County in late September.