Wolf caught in the act in Asotin County

Roger Harnack

State Fish and Wildlife officials confirmed today that a wolf killed a calf in a privately owned, fenced pasture in the county.
The confirmation follows a range rider witnessing a wolf feeding on the 400-450 pound calf on July 22, officials said. The range rider reported the depredation to state game authorities who investigated the attack.
“Staff noted disturbed ground, unidentifiable tracks and a blood trail leading to the carcass, along with evidence the carcass had been dragged while fed upon,” the report released today said. “The hindquarters, flank, intestines, and organs were partially consumed. The carcass was removed from the area and buried after the investigation.”
Investigators said the nature of the remains was “indicative of wolf depredation.”
Officials said the location also corresponds to location data transmitted from a GPS collar on a Grouse Flats pack wolf in the vicinity at the time of the attack, officials said.
“Based on the combination of tissue damage with associated hemorrhaging and wolf locations, WDFW staff classified this event as a confirmed wolf depredation,” officials said.
This is the fifth wolf attack in that area in the last year.
According to game officials, the Grouse Flats pack attacked three cattle in 2018 and a fourth just two weeks ago on July 12.
This confirmed depredation also comes just days after the state confirmed depredations in the Kettle Ridge area of Ferry County.
There, a calf was found dead July 10, and wolves in the Old Profanity Territory pack attacked and injured two calves July 18; one was later euthanized.
Wolves also killed calves July 19 and July 22, the agency reported, noting those incidents occurred after an agency sharpshooter killed a wolf July 13.
Agency Director Kelly Susewind is considering a kill order to remove more wolves from the Old Profanity Territory pack.
In the meantime, the affected cattleman and others in the Kettle Ridge area have deployed additional range riders and officials have installed lights at livestock salting and watering locations.