(Edited 6/3/2020 - clarification below)
On May 19, WDFW staff responded to a report of a dead calf in a private pasture in Stevens County. A second, injured calf was located in an adjacent pasture after the first depredation investigation was completed. These incidents occurred within the Wedge pack territory.
The investigation of the dead calf revealed bite wounds, lacerations and hemorrhaging consistent with wolf depredation. Wounds accompanied by significant hemorrhaging were documented. The carcass was removed from the pasture and disposed of.
The investigation of the injured calf showed bite wounds and lacerations consistent with a wolf attack. Swelling was noted on both rear legs. The calf was accounted for and uninjured as of May 11, therefore the injuries occurred within the last week and were estimated to be at least two days old. The calf was treated for its wounds and will be monitored.
The combination of bite wounds and lacerations with associated hemorrhaging, wolf tracks, signs of a struggle, and trail camera photos provide evidence consistent with confirmed wolf depredations.
The affected livestock are pastured near the livestock producer’s home; they were checked daily and there is regular human presence in the area. Following these depredations, WDFW staff placed Fox lights along the pasture and an additional (two total) Cattle Producers of Washington wolf-livestock conflict monitor was assigned to the area.
These incidents are the second and third depredations in approximately one week attributed to the Wedge pack. Because WDFW is exploring additional avenues for responsive nonlethal deterrents and gathering more information about the Wedge pack, lethal removal is not being considered at this time. WDFW staff will continue to work with the producer and the Cattle Producers of Washington as well as continue to monitor the area to mitigate future conflict.
Clarification (6/3/2020): This update was edited to clarify that the affected livestock producer had proactive, nonlethal deterrents (calving near the producer’s home, monitoring for sick/injured livestock, carcass sanitation, human presence, and hazed wolves away during the first depredation incident) in place at the time of these depredations. WDFW is supportive of the livestock producer's efforts and continues to collaborate with this producer and others on wolf-livestock conflict mitigation.
2020 Wedge pack updates
A summary of all documented depredation activity within the past 10 months is included in every monthly wolf update.