The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently announced the approval of a kill permit for a Umatilla County livestock producer who suffered two depredations in a three-day window. The depredations in the Ukiah Valley area were confirmed on private land pastures on September 25th and 28th, resulting in the death or injury of eight calves. Lethal take can be authorized by ODFW in chronic depredation situations when there is significant risk to livestock present in the area.
The permit allows the producer or their agents to kill up to two wolves on a portion of the private land they own in the Ukiah and Heppner units. The permit expires October 31st, 2021, when the two wolves are killed, or when the producer’s livestock are removed from the area, whichever comes first.
Under the Wolf Plan rules, livestock producers must use and document non-lethal methods appropriate to the situation before lethal control can be considered. Also, there can be no identified circumstances on the property (such as bone piles or carcasses) that could be attracting wolves.
ODFW found no attractants. During each livestock investigation as well as during each trip to the investigation sites, the Department searched the immediate area for any bone piles, carcasses, or other attractants and found none.
Prior to the first depredation, the producer has removed dead animal carcasses from the landscape, and continually monitored the health of the cow herd and removed animals that are sick and in risk of attracting predators. Since the first confirmed depredation, the producer has additionally had employees stay with the cattle each night and utilize hazing tools to deter wolves from the area.
At the time of the depredations, there was no area of known wolf activity (AKWA) designated in the area the depredations occurred. The location of these events is less than two miles from the estimated boundary of the Fivemile Pack. There is limited location data for the Fivemile Pack and it is possible these wolves are now utilizing areas east of the current AKWA boundary. Recent public reports have also indicated multiple wolves within ten miles southeast of the depredations. ODFW has identified an initial area around the presence of the depredating wolves in the Ukiah Valley area to address associated risk to livestock. ODFW staff are monitoring the region to confirm resident activity by new wolves as well as confirm the current movements of the Fivemile Pack.
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