11th kill since July 2016
By Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain
On Oct. 13,
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed another Harl Butte Pack depredation in the Marr Flat area on public land Oct. 13. An ODFW employee found the carcass of an estimated 550-pound. calf on the morning of Oct. 11 in a large pasture. A depredation was suspected, and an examination was performed that morning.
The ODFW estimated that the calf had died earlier that morning. The carcass was half-eaten with both hindquarters missing as well as the entrails and nearly all of the right front shoulder flesh.
The examination indicated premortem bites in several carcass areas with accompanying severe hemorrhaging and tissue trauma. Bite marks up to eight inches long, six inches wide into the tissue and the associated tissue trauma behind the ribs, between the shoulders and under the jaw were similar to observed wolf attack points.
The radio collar of OR-50, a member of the Harl Butte Pack, indicated the wolf was in the area earlier that morning. The 10 previous depredations in the area occurred within nine miles of the site.
In response to the depredation, local rancher and Oregon Cattleman’s Association member Todd Nash emailed ODFW East Region Manager Bruce Eddy with another request to lethally remove the entire pack and extend the period of the authorized legal take of four of the wolves past Oct. 31.
Nash also noted that the wolves can only be taken on 1,500 acres of private property, and the areas in which the ODFW and Marr Flatt Grazing Association can take wolves is also limited by the agency.
Eddy said he appreciated the nonlethal efforts of the ranchers to deal with the problem but also said the agency had no plans to remove the entire pack.