Livestock depredations in Smackout pack territory

Publish date

On Oct. 3, 2022 WDFW confirmed a wolf depredation on an injured calf found in a private pasture in the Smackout pack territory in Stevens County. Staff identified several injuries on the animal’s left hindquarter. The location, type, and severity of the injuries were consistent with those made by wolves during a depredation event. The swelling and infection in the leg suggested severe tissue damage under the hide. WDFW staff conducting the investigation estimated that the depredation occurred four to five days prior to the investigation. 

This investigation followed a probable depredation of a deceased calf in the same privately-owned pasture that the Department investigated on Sept. 26, 2022. Based on the proximity of the depredation to other confirmed wolf depredations and physical and site-specific evidence identified at the scene, WDFW staff ruled this as a probable wolf depredation and estimated it to have occurred one to two days prior to the investigation.  

The September and October depredations affected a single livestock producer. That producer used several proactive and responsive deterrence measures, including adding an additional range rider to monitor livestock on leased private pasture, a radio activated guard (RAG) box, Foxlights, regular communication with WDFW staff, producer provided human presence and range riding, removing sick or injured livestock when found, and properly disposing of carcasses. The producer also decided to refrain from ranging cattle on a nearby United States Forest Service (USFS) grazing allotment to reduce the likelihood of wolf-livestock conflict. 

Since mid-August, WDFW has documented a total of eight depredations in seven separate depredation events. These documented depredations have affected three different livestock producers, resulting in five dead and three injured livestock attributed to the Smackout pack.  

In early September, WDFW authorized lethal removal for the Smackout pack following the initial depredations, which all happened in a very short timeframe. A juvenile wolf, suspected of being from the Dirty Shirt pack but near a Smackout collared wolf on the periphery of the Smackout pack territory, was lethally removed on Sept. 8, 2022 under that authorization. 
Following that lethal removal, WDFW did not document any wolf depredations in the Smackout pack territory between Aug. 31 and Sept. 26. WDFW staff are discussing the use of appropriate deterrence measures in this pack territory as a pattern of depredations appears to have resumed. Staff will discuss how to address this situation most effectively moving forward and provide a recommendation to the Director. 

Smackout pack depredations 


Confirmed mortality of calf 


Confirmed injury of calf 


Probable injury of calf 


Confirmed mortality of calf 


Confirmed mortality of 2 calves 


Probable mortality of calf 


Confirmed injury of calf 


Packs referenced in this update