Dead Profanity Peak wolves at six and counting

Compiled by Chris Cowbrough
S-E Editor

State gunners have killed six wolves from the Profanity Peak pack in Ferry County, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said on Friday.

The effort to kill off the cattle-killing pack using helicopter marksmen north of the Sherman Pass area of the Colville National Forest will continue, according to Donnie Martorello, the agency’s wolf policy leader.

The pack has been estimated at 11 animals, including six pups.

Two adult female wolves from the pack, including the breeding female, were killed by state shooters on August 5.

When the pack continued to attack cattle, Wildlife Director Jim Unsworth authorized field staff to remove the remaining wolves on August 19 in an attempt to prevent more attacks on cattle in the rugged and remote land between Republic and Kettle Falls.

WDFW said four wolves were killed last Sunday and Monday, including two adult males and a female pup.

Martolello said the fourth wolf has not been recovered from the rugged terrain.

It’s the second time in four years that WDFW has opted to exterminate a wolf pack for killing cattle.

Wolf advocates have raised their ire and concern over WDFW’s decision to kill off another pack of wolves.

Robert Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University, told the Seattle Times that he has radio-collared 700 cattle and dozens of wolves, including animals from the Profanity Peak pack. It’s part of an ongoing study of wolf and livestock conflict in the state of Washington. He also camera monitors the Profanity Peak pack’s den.

“This livestock operator elected to put his livestock directly on top of their den site,” Wielgus told the Seattle Times. “We have pictures of cows swamping it. I just want people to know.”

The allotment Wielgus monitors and Diamond M Ranch cattleman Len McIrvin graze’s is on public land.

The Profanity Peak pack is one of 19 known wolf packs in Washington. Lethal control actions to address wolf attacks on livestock have been authorized three times since the first wolves were confirmed in Washington back in 2008.