Less than a year after a string of 2017 depredations and the harvest of four wolves in August 2017, the Harl Butte wolf pack claimed another confirmed depredation in the reaches of the upper Imnaha.
The depredation occurred on a U.S. Forest Service grazing allotment held by the Marr Flat Grazing Association.
On July 22, a dead 225-pound calf was discovered by a permittee of the grazing allotment. Owners reported seeing two wolves in the vicinity just before the discovery of the carcass. The wolves partially ate the calf, with its right shoulder, abdomen and hindquarters damaged.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife investigated the depredation the same day. Upon examination of the carcass, multiple canine tooth scrape marks were found on the hide of the right hind leg, back and left front legs.
The findings also indicated pre-mortem hemorrhage and muscle tissue damage from canine bites on the upper left front leg, left elbow, both hind legs above the hocks and the lower-left side of the back.
The agency issued a confirmation on July 24. It is the pack’s 12th confirmed depredation since July of 2016 and first of this year.
The pack does not have a collared member. Only one of Wallowa County’s estimated 60-plus wolves is collared. However, the location of the depredation is within the Known Area of Wolf Activity of the Harl Butte pack.
County commissioner Todd Nash said the pack has had more than enough chances to alter its behavior and needs severe curtailing if not elimination.
“We need to clean this mess up,” he said. “The state needs to do its part if we’re going to achieve co-existence with wolves and ranchers.”