Late last week, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the authorization of lethal action against the OR30 pack. Since early June, the Umatilla base pack has depredated six times on private land pastures, resulting in the death or injury of five sheep and five calves. A previous removal permit for these wolves to a different producer expired on August 31st with no wolves taken.
ODFW will provide a kill permit to a livestock producer who requested the option after the most recent calf depredation in mid-October. The permit expires November 22nd. 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 agent to kill one wolf on the private land they are using within the OR30 Wolves Area of Known Wolf Activity.
The permit expires Nov. 22, when the one wolf is killed, or when the producer’s livestock are removed from the area, whichever comes first. The producer’s method of take under the permit is restricted to shooting the wolf from the ground.
Under the rules, livestock producers must be using 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 are attracting wolves. 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.
The producer has and continues to remove any dead, sick or injured livestock from their pasture to reduce the risk of attracting predators. They have maintained an increased human presence, working long hours (10-15 hours daily) to check livestock frequently using both horse and ATV. Producers have also hazed wolves late into the night using firearms as noisemakers to scare them off. For several weeks, the producer has also been camping on site to monitor and gather cattle.
Lethal action is authorized with the goal of putting an end to the chronic depredation but livestock producers will also continue to use nonlethal measures.
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