On March 26, 2021, a livestock producer in the Leadpoint pack territory reported an injured domestic bull to WDFW staff. WDFW staff responded and conducted an investigation. The investigation of the bull resulted in a determination that the injuries were not caused by wolves. While staff were on scene, it was observed that a second animal, a domestic calf, had injuries which may have been the result of a depredation. WDFW staff conducted an investigation of the injured calf and made a determination of probable wolf depredation resulting in injuries.
The affected livestock producer is not the same producer who experienced wolf depredations on their livestock in 2020 within the Leadpoint pack territory. This probable depredation injury event on a calf brings the total number of depredation events to 13 since June 19, 2020. Depredations in 2020 resulted in nine calves confirmed as injured and three confirmed as killed by wolves in the Leadpoint territory, all affecting one producer in 2020. Because the Leadpoint pack has been involved in 13 depredations in the past 10 months, lethal removal was considered. The Department reviewed the situation and Director Kelly Susewind decided not to initiate lethal removal at this time.
The Department will continue to:
Monitor the situation with the producer affected this year and other producers in the vicinity through April 15 to assess wolf capture opportunities and the development of permanent methods of restricting wolves from certain areas.
Increase surveillance efforts (additional trail cameras were deployed on March 30) to document wolf activity.
Work with the producer to deploy additional reactive deterrents.
Prior conflict mitigation efforts in the Leadpoint pack territory:
WDFW staff were in communication with the livestock producer affected this year in February 2020 after a report of wolf activity in the area. Staff assisted with the deployment of non-lethal deterrence measures (fladry and Fox lights) and trail cameras to assist with monitoring at that time. In May 2020, after several months of reduced wolf activity in the area, WDFW staff removed the fladry and Fox lights.
In November 2020, WDFW received a report about increased activity around the livestock producer’s pasture. WDFW staff deployed several Fox lights and a roll of fladry around the pasture.
In December 2020, WDFW staff responded to another report of wolf sign around the producer’s pasture and two injured cattle. Upon arrival, staff were unable to determine the cause of injuries since the injuries on both animals were nearly healed. In response to the additional wolf sign, additional Fox lights were provided and an additional two rolls of fladry were installed around the pasture the following week. The producer was provided with paperwork for a data sharing agreement that would allow them to see locations of collared wolves and agreed to maintain the fladry.
On March 24, 2021, WDFW staff contacted the livestock producer to coordinate pickup of the fladry and Fox lights. The producer reported that one of their dogs had been attacked by wolves back in January 2021 but had recovered. They also stated that wolves have been around their property fairly consistently within the last couple of months. WDFW staff have communicated with the livestock producer about the importance of timely reporting of injured livestock and other potential conflicts with wolves.
2020 Leadpoint pack updates
A summary of all documented depredation activity within the past 10 months is included in every monthly wolf update.