Smackout Pack Update

Publish date

On Nov. 1, the department notified the public about a confirmed wolf depredation on a heifer by the Smackout pack on Oct. 31. The depredation resulted in a mortality of the heifer. Later that day, the department confirmed the fifth depredation by the pack, also resulting in the death of a heifer. The latest depredation brings the total to five by the pack since Aug. 20, 2018.

In the five incidents, two producers have experienced depredations to their livestock in 2018 by the Smackout pack, including: 

Date

Producer

Livestock age

WDFW Classification

Livestock deposition

Aug 20

Producer 1

Calf

Confirmed

Injury

Oct 14

Producer 2

Heifer

Confirmed

Kill

Oct 21

Producer 2

Heifer

Confirmed

Kill

Oct 31

Producer 2

Heifer

Confirmed

Kill

Nov 1

Producer 2

Heifer

Confirmed

Kill

 

The Department will provide more information about the findings from the latest depredation investigations in a later update. 

Producer 1 experienced the Aug. 20 depredation that resulted in an injured calf on a private pasture.  In this area, the livestock graze on a combination of private fenced lands and federal grazing allotments.  In terms of proactive non-lethal deterrents, Producer 1 undertook the following non-lethal deterrent measures during some part the grazing season:

  1. Deployed range riders on a daily or near daily basis to monitor livestock on fenced and unfenced allotments,

  2. Deployed additional periodic human presence by the producer and his family,

  3. Confined livestock to more defensible fenced pastures in spring and fall,

  4. Used Foxlights when cattle were in specific pastures,

  5. Used a Radio Activated Guard boxes when cattle were in specific pastures,

  6. Hazed wolves with nonlethal-munitions or pyrotechnics when wolves were encountered,

  7. Removed, treated, and/or confined sick and injured livestock, and

  8. Maintained sanitation by removing or securing livestock carcasses.

Producer 2 owned the four livestock depredated on Oct. 14, 21, 31, and Nov. 1.  In this area, the livestock graze on private pastures in the valley bottom.  The producer maintains livestock on relatively smaller pastures that are more open and defensible, are fenced, and have homes and larger paved roads nearby.  In terms of proactive non-lethal deterrents, Producer 2 undertook the following non-lethal deterrent measures:

  1. Calved outside of the known wolf pack territory,

  2. Contained livestock on fenced pastures, with homes and higher use roads nearby that enhance defensibility,

  3. The producer, family, employees, Stevens County Wildlife Specialist, and WDFW staff checked on the livestock about once every week,

  4. Used Foxlights when cattle were in specific pastures where wolf sightings had been reported in previous years and this year, and

  5. Maintained sanitation by WDFW, County Wildlife Specialist or an NGO removing or securing livestock carcasses.

The area where the most recent depredations occurred is comprised of a series of private fenced pastures along a valley bottom, which together are a relatively large area.  WDFW is working with producers and a local collaborative group to help pool resources to provide the most livestock protection and wolf deterrence possible in this situation.  Responsive deterrent measures have been deployed, and include the initiation of range rider efforts around the affected and neighboring pastures, and placing fladry in strategic areas (began Nov. 2).  WDFW and the producers will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures, and will use additional deterrence measures or change measures as the situation dictates. 

Director Susewind is reviewing the details of the depredations by the pack and is considering next steps.

Packs
Smackout