Wolf Chronology of Events Spring 2010 in Wallowa County, Oregon
1. In January of 2010 producers started reporting that the Imnaha wolf pack had again set up home just east of Joseph, they had done the same thing for the winter of 2009. In Feb. they installed a rag box (makes noise and sets off lights when activated by the frequencies from the wolf collars) they also gave the producer a radio to help him monitor the 4 wolves that had collars. On March 26th a producer approx. 8 miles east of Ent. reported wolves in his cows 150 yards from his home. Sheriff, W.S. and ODFW responded and confirmed this. From this point forward to the Ist kill landowners along the east edge of the valley implemented different non-lethal activities to try to keep the wolves out of their cattle.
2. May5th Calf killed approx.20 miles northwest of Ent.on the Zumwalt Prairie ODFW and W.S. responded to scene and confirmed it as a wolf kill. The next day the owner and I requested that since the producers had been practicing non lethal actions that the 4 wolves that had been identified in the area be killed before they returned to the rest of the pack. We were told that we had been practicing preventative actions not non-lethal and according to the plan we had to try these first. I asked what they were and they repeated the same actions that producers had already been implementing for the last 2 months.
3. May13 Calf killed Upper Prairie Creek inside the valley in a grass hay field approx. 7miles from Joseph. I called W.S. they responded, called ODFW (Russ) we agreed he would wait until W.S. looked at it, when W.S. said he thought it was a wolf kill I called Russ and told him he requested we bring it to the Enterprise office and he would look at it there. Asked him to come to the scene he wanted to know the attitude of the owner, I said their would not be a problem if he wanted to come out to the field and do his investigation and again he said bring it to the office, so we met him in Ent., he looked at W.S. and my pictures then he cut on the carcass, washed it with water and after 2 hours of this he said it was not a wolf kill. They took the carcass then and put it in a freezer.I said to Russ what do we do now since W.S. says it is a kill and ODFW doesn’t, he told me it was ODFW’s responsibility to make these calls in OR. I disagreed, but I felt he wasn’t the policy person to discuss this with so I contacted Bruce Eddy and he said that since wolves were no longer listed federally it was their call. I pointed out page 32 of the plan that I believed gave W.S. The authority and also brought up the (2007) Fed. /State coordination strategy for implementation of Or. Wolf plan that also clearly gives the authority to W.S. I have had many conservations with people in the agency from here to Salem and still today there is no agreement on this issue. So from here on out we started recommending that the producers call our local sheriff and have him go to the field to oversee the investigations and take control of the carcass at the site.
4. May16th. Calf killed approx. 40 miles northwest of Ent. Sheriff, W.S. responded to the field no ODFW were available at this time. W.S. called it a wolf kill and ODFW was notified from the field and requested they bring it to Ent. The next day Russ (ODFW) looked at their pictures examined the carcass and said it was not a wolf kill, he disagreed 100% with all of W.S. reasons for calling it a wolf kill(trauma in 2 places on bone, time of death and the tracks he said were not made by a wolf). The Sheriff, W.S. and I were present; I said I was taking it to our local vets to have them examine it. The sheriff followed me and the 2 vets identified the same trauma as W.S. had.They suggested that we send it to W.S.U.’s lab and have them examine it. That was done and the final report agreed with all of W.S. findings.
5. May20th. Calf killed approx.18 miles from Joseph. Sheriff, W.S. ODFW (Vic Coggins) responded W.S. confirmed. The next day 3 ODFW personnel looked at the carcass again and later that day confirmed it as a wolf kill. The producer and I requested that since we had 2 confirmed kills by ODFW and 4 by W.S. Action be taken to eliminate at least some of these wolves. ODFW said that the plan required that 2 kills had to be on adjacent lands. On May23rd. ODFW said they would issue “caught in the act” permits to producers that had confirmed kills or to producers that had verified wolf activity on their property. These permits only allow you to shoot a wolf that you see biting an animal not chasing only biting or wounding, you could get struck by lightning first. They issued 5 of these permits.
6. May27th.Calf killed approx.10 miles east of Enterprise. Sheriff, W.S. and ODFW responded, W.S. The carcass was examined, W.S. confirmed it as a wolf kill, it was brought to town and put in a cooler until the next day and 2 vets preformed a necropsy on it and ODFW confirmed it as a wolf kill, again we requested that action be taken on the wolf pack. We were again informed that since it was not adjacent landowners, by the plan they could not take action.
7. May29th. Calf killed approx.7miles East of Enterprise. Sheriff,W.S. ODFW responded, W.S. confirmed it as a wolf kill. ODFW did not confirm the kill at this time.
8. May 29th killed approx. S.E. of Joseph; sheriff, W.S., ODFW responded and W.S. confirmed the kill. No. 6 & 7 carcasses were brought to town. ODFW confirmed #6 & 7 after a conference call. ODFW issued caught in the act lethal take permits to2 more landowners.
9 May31st. Wildlife Services authorized to kill 2 wolves without collars from the Imnaha pack.
10. June 2nd, calf killed approx 35 miles north of Enterprise, Sheriff, W.S., ODFW responded, W.S. confirmed as a wolf kill, the carcass was brought to town and put into a cooler. June 3rd taken to the vets and necropsy performed. ODFW would not confirm.
11. June 3rd, calf killed approx forty miles N.E. of Enterprise, Sheriff, W.S., ODFW responded; W.S. confirmed as wolf kill. On June 4th ODFW confirmed as a wolf kill.