From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 52 - March 23, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Four more wolves killed

by Cat Urbigkit

Last Friday, federal animal damage control officials killed four wolves on a ranch near Cora after the pack repeatedly preyed on cattle on the ranch. Two wolves from this pack of six had been shot by wildlife officials earlier in the month in attempt to stop repeated depredations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that last Thursday, March 16, a yearling cow was confirmed as being killed on private property by an un-collared group of wolves. The next day, USDA Wildlife Services specialists killed the remaining four wolves, including two adult male wolves and one yearling female. The carcass of the fourth wolf was not recovered due to blowing snow in the area. FWS reported that the three wolves examined were in good condition and control efforts have now ended.

In other wolf news from the region, livestock producers using livestock guardian dogs have had encounters with wolves in recent weeks. On March 13, a rancher in the Cambridge, Idaho, area shot a wolf that was tangling with his guard dogs, FWS reported. He shot an 85-pound gray female that was suffering from a heavy infestation of dog-biting lice, the first reported in Idaho on wolves. The first infestation of these lice on Northern Rocky Mountain wolves was documented in southwestern Montana last year.

Earlier this month, an Anatolian shepherd in the Ninemile drainage near Missoula, Mont., got into a dispute with two black wolves near a ranch’s hay shed.

“The dog came when called but had blood dripping from a major wound,” FWS reported. “He dog had a severe wound to the left shoulder by the neck and in the rump near the anal area and was taken to the veterinarian right away. The dog had a total of seven puncture wounds including the two open wounds.”

FWS reported that the rancher believed that the dog’s spiked leather collar, which he had purchased from Spain on a trial basis, “is more than likely what saved him, for that was the only critical area on his body with no puncture wounds.”

Other ranchers in central Montana have made national news with the recent spate of sheep depredations.

More than 100 sheep have been injured or killed in the last few months. FWS reported that Wildlife Services investigated first the three incidents and “due to the smaller canine track and other factors, determined that a dog, or wolf-hybrid was responsible.”

The killings continued, with six depredation events spread over a 30-mile radius centering just east of Jordan.

“Due to factors such as the distance involved and the extent of the damage, Wildlife Services confirmed the most recent depredations as wolf,” FWS reported. Lethal control of one wolf by both Wildlife Services and Montana wildlife officials has been authorized, and shoot-on-site permits were issued to affected landowners.

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