Final update for the Sherman pack

Publish date


WDFW’s 2017 Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol describes tools and approaches designed to influence pack behavior with the goal of reducing the potential for recurrent livestock depredations while continuing to promote wolf recovery.

On August 25, WDFW notified the public that nonlethal deterrence measures were not achieving that goal in the Sherman pack territory, and that the Director had authorized incremental lethal removal of wolves as another tool to address recurrent depredations.

The approach taken consists of a period of active removal operations followed by an evaluation period to determine if those actions changed the pack’s behavior. Between August 25 and September 1, the department removed one wolf from the Sherman pack. On September 2, WDFW initiated an evaluation period to assess the effect of that action on the pack’s behavior.

Non-lethal deterrents

Range riders have been patrolling the area started May 9, before the cattle were turned out, to check for carnivore activity, proactively increase human presence and report cattle information (locations, injuries, etc.) to the producer. Five other people, including the producer, his family, and employees, also work cattle throughout the allotments. The range riders share any noted wolf activity in the area or changes in cattle behavior with WDFW.

The livestock producers in the area have nearly completed the process of removing cattle from the USFS grazing allotments in this wolf pack territory. The majority of the cattle are expected to be off the allotments by the end of October.

Evaluation period completed

The last known depredation on livestock by the Sherman pack was August 28, 2017. The break in wolf depredations since then suggests that the Sherman pack’s behavior has responded to the approach highlighted in the protocol of using non-lethal deterrents and, if necessary, incremental removal. Therefore, this is the last weekly update for the Sherman pack. If wolf depredations by the Sherman pack resume, WDFW will revert back to the protocol to assess the time since the previous depredations and assess any further actions.

A final report of the department’s actions in the Sherman pack will be available by December 15, 2017.