Monthly Wolf Report - July 2021

Publish date

This update provides an overview of gray wolf conservation and management activities in Washington during July 2021.

Program updates

On July 16, the Fish and Wildlife Commission was briefed by a team from the University of Washington on the status of the modeling tool that will be used by WDFW to make a recommendation for the Periodic Status Review for gray wolves. The presentations slides are available here and the meeting/presentation recording is available here.

Communication and coordination

WDFW staff attended a meeting with the Volunteer Stewardship Program (VSP) in Ellensburg to discuss the need for a livestock carcass disposal program in the Kittitas Valley. A large number of livestock carcasses have been found dumped on public and private lands. The landfill does not take unbagged carcasses and anything larger than sheep, so there are few options for disposal of large carcasses currently. Meeting attendees discussed the potential of adding signage at dump sites and attempting to find support and funding for a compost facility, incinerator, and/or rendering options.  

WDFW published a blog post about wolf howling behavior called Wolf howls: what wolves are telling each other- and you- through howls.

Current population status and proactive conflict mitigation

The year-end minimum population count for 2020 was at least 132 known wolves in 24 known packs including at least 13 breeding pairs. The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation reported 46 wolves in five packs. Annual wolf population surveys are conducted in the winter because wolf populations experience the least amount of natural fluctuation during this time. Counting the population at the end of each year allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year when the wolf population is most stable. The year-end minimum population count for 2021 will be released in April 2022.

Reports of remote camera images or videos, wolf tracks, or sightings from the public are extremely helpful in locating previously undocumented wolf activity and potential new packs on the landscape. Please take photos of wolves or wolf sign (use some way to measure the size of a track) and upload them to the wolf reporting page via the following link:

Definitions: A “pack” is defined as two or more wolves traveling together in winter, and a “breeding pair” is defined as at least one adult male and one adult female wolf that raised at least two pups that survived until December 31. In any given year, the number of packs will always be greater than or equal to the number of breeding pairs. The known territories and more information for each pack can be viewed by clicking the pack name.

Beaver Creek pack
No activity to report.

Butte Creek pack
No activity to report.

Carpenter Ridge pack
No activity to report.

Diobsud Creek pack
No activity to report.

Dirty Shirt pack
No activity to report.

Goodman Meadows pack
No activity to report.

Grouse Flats pack
No activity to report.

Huckleberry pack
No activity to report.

Kettle pack
No activity to report.

Leadpoint pack
On July 21, a range rider discovered an injured calf in a private pasture in the Leadpoint pack territory. WDFW staff investigated the reported calf the following day, along with another calf discovered on the morning of the investigation. On the first calf, WDFW staff discovered a severe bite wound on the rear left leg leaving most of the rear muscle missing. Several bite lacerations were noted on the inner left and right rear legs. This calf was euthanized due to the severity of its injuries. The second calf had a severe bite laceration on its right front leg above the elbow. Bite lacerations were noted along the margins of the wound and additional wounds were noted on the inside of the elbow. This calf’s injuries were treated and will be monitored for healing.

Based on the severity of the wounds with associated swelling, bite lacerations, tracks in the area, and trail camera photos where the injured calves were grazing, WDFW staff who conducted the investigation determined that the injuries sustained were a result of a confirmed wolf depredation. Staff estimated that these depredations occurred within approximately three days of the investigation; due to the estimated age of the injuries, they more than likely happened during one event.

The affected livestock producer had several proactive, nonlethal deterrents in place, including calving away from areas occupied by wolves, delayed turnout of cattle until calving is complete, sanitation of carcasses or other attractants, removing sick or injured livestock, and use of range riders. Since the depredation was documented, the livestock producer added an additional range rider. WDFW staff recommended that range riders ride through timbered areas of the affected pasture at dawn and dusk to help keep calves paired with cows. 

The Leadpoint pack was previously involved in a probable depredation event affecting a different livestock producer on March 26, 2021.

Lookout pack
No activity to report.

Loup Loup pack
No activity to report.

Naneum pack
No activity to report.

Navarre pack
No activity to report.

Onion Creek pack
No activity to report.

Salmo pack
No activity to report.

Sherman pack
No activity to report.

Skookum pack
No activity to report.

Smackout pack
No activity to report.

Stranger pack
A WDFW wolf biologist scouted for wolf sign and trapped to collar wolves in the Stranger pack this past month; no wolves were captured during this effort. WDFW-contracted range riders reported wolf activity with cattle captured on a trail camera and searched the allotment for any signs of missing or injured cattle. The range riders did not locate anything that seemed unusual or out of the ordinary.

Strawberry pack
No activity to report.

Sullivan Creek pack
No activity to report.

Teanaway pack
No activity to report.

Togo pack
WDFW staff deployed a radio-activated guard (RAG) box in the area where staff documented a confirmed wolf depredation (injured calf) last month. WDFW staff continue to ensure functionality of the RAG box and coordinate regularly with the livestock producer and the WDFW-contracted range rider assigned to the allotment.

Touchet pack
No activity to report.

Tucannon pack
No activity to report.

Vulcan pack
No activity to report.

Wedge pack
WDFW wolf biologists searched this pack area for wolf activity and checked cameras this past month.

Miscellaneous/lone wolves
No activity to report.

Note: The Frosty, Nason, Nc’icn, and Whitestone pack territories are within Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CTCR) lands and are managed under tribal authority. Information regarding these packs is proprietary and reported at the discretion of the CTCR.


No wolf mortalities were documented in July. As of this update, WDFW has documented three wolf mortalities in 2021. 

Depredation activity

Please report any suspected livestock depredations or the death or harassment of wolves to the WDFW Enforcement Hotline at 1-877-933-9847.

In 2020, 76% of known wolf packs were not involved in any documented livestock depredation.

Below is a summary of packs with documented depredation activity within the past ten months (some packs have depredation history prior to the current ten-month window; this timeframe is considered based on guidance from the wolf-livestock interaction protocol).


Depredation date

Depredation type

Proactive non-lethals

Ten-month window

Agency lethal removal actions



Probable injury of calf






Confirmed mortality of one calf (died from injuries), confirmed injury of second calf






Confirmed injury of calf






Confirmed injury of calf






Probable kill of calf