Livestock depredations in Leadpoint pack territory

Publish date

On Sept. 30, WDFW staff investigated injuries to a cow and calf pair in a private pasture in Stevens County. Bite marks and lacerations consistent with those made by wolf dentition were identified on the right hindquarter of both the cow and calf. The calf’s leg was swollen from severe tissue damage and displayed signs of infection. WDFW determined that both cow and calf had been attacked by Leadpoint pack wolves in one depredation event. A veterinarian specializing in large animals was consulted and estimated that the depredation event likely occurred 24 to 48 hours prior to the investigation. That was during, but toward the end of, a lethal removal action for wolves in that pack. Although the calf was treated, it died later from the injuries sustained. 

The affected livestock producer utilized multiple proactive and responsive deterrence measures including: 

  • Two Cattle Producers of Washington (CPoW) range riders that check cattle health, condition, and demeanor on a daily or near daily basis, and monitor the behavior and condition of cattle. 

  • Human presence and range riding performed by the producer. 

  • Removal of trees and brush to reduce the cover and increase visibility of wolves in the area. 

  • Decided not to stock a nearby USFS grazing allotment to avoid wolf-livestock conflict. 

  • Removal of sick or injured livestock from the pasture when found and proper disposal of carcasses. 

  • A radio-activated guard (RAG) box and several Fox lights used in the area where past depredation events occurred. 

  • Regular communication with WDFW staff. 

Before the Sept. 30 investigation, WDFW documented five depredation events since Aug. 22, 2022. As a result of this pattern of depredations, two wolves were lethally removed from this pack by WDFW staff in late September under an authorization by WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. This authorization is consistent with the guidance of the state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and the lethal removal provisions of the department's wolf-livestock interaction protocol.  

This latest investigation makes a total of six depredation events resulting in four dead and three injured livestock and could indicate a continuing pattern of depredation. WDFW could potentially initiate another lethal removal action following the guidelines of the Wolf Plan and wolf-livestock interaction protocol. Staff are discussing the depredations and use of non-lethal measures in this pack territory and how to address this situation most effectively moving forward. A recommendation will be provided to the Director. 

Leadpoint pack depredations 


Confirmed mortality of calf 


Confirmed mortality of calf 


Confirmed mortality of cow 


Confirmed injury of calf 


Confirmed injury of calf 


Confirmed injury of cow and calf (calf later died from injuries) 

Previous updates 

2022 Leadpoint pack updates 

Packs referenced in this update