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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

New wolf pack blamed for cow, calf deaths in Ferry County

A northeastern Washington wolf pack so new it hasn’t been formally recognized has been blamed for attacking cattle in Ferry County.

The Profanity Pack has been linked to cattle kills reported Sept. 12 on a Colville National Forest grazing allotment.

The pack, which has at least three adults and three pups, has been documented in the Kettle River Range east of Curlew and ranging near Profanity Peak, said Nate Pamplin, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department wildlife program director.

The Diamond M Ranch reported a cow and calf killed from a herd of 210 cow-calf pairs. State wildlife officials confirmed the cattle were killed by wolves.

Diamond M Ranch also had problems with wolf attacks mostly on private land in northern Stevens County in 2012. Those attacks on more than 15 cattle led the state to put helicopter gunners in the air and kill eight members of the Wedge Pack.

The Profanity Pack attacks were in a remote area about 4 miles by trail from the nearest road, Pamplin said.

The operators say more cattle likely were killed. They are moving the cattle to lower elevations, he said.

The cattle attacks were reported a month after another pack, the Huckleberry Pack, was confirmed in attacks on sheep a rancher was running on a private timber company grazing lease in Stevens County.  At least 24 sheep were killed as state officers went in with a helicopter and killed the alpha female. 

The flock of nearly 1,800 sheep has been moved to another grazing area.