Washington Wolf Packs: Wedge

February 2013

The Wedge pack, named after the wedge-shaped part of northwestern Stevens County on the Canada border between the Kettle and Columbia rivers, has two confirmed members. These wolves may be new arrivals to the area, or they may be remnants of an original larger pack that was reduced by state wildlife managers in 2012 to end a series of attacks on an area rancher’s cattle.

Wolf activity was suspected in the Wedge even before a rancher’s calf was confirmed killed by wolves in 2007. In April 2012, another rancher reported wolves stalking his calving operation. WDFW staff confirmed wolf tracks around the calving pen, captured images of wolves on motion-activated cameras, and set up specialized fencing (electrified fladry) to protect livestock. 

The original Wedge pack was confirmed in July 2012 with the capture and radio-collaring of an adult male wolf believed to be the alpha, and the capture and ear-tagging of a wolf pup.  At the same time, investigations of livestock injuries and losses at other area ranches indicated the pack of at least eight wolves was likely responsible. Wolves were hazed and livestock owners were issued a permit to kill a wolf caught in the act of attacking livestock. When wolf-livestock attacks continued into August, one wolf was killed to try to break the pattern of depredation. As livestock injuries and losses escalated into September, efforts to remove wolves continued, and ultimately six additional wolves were killed.

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