Wolves kill two more cattle near Fort Klamath
Two yearling steers were attacked and killed by wolves from the
Rogue Pack Thursday in two separate incidents near Fort Klamath.
Both depredations were confirmed Friday by the Oregon Department
of Fish & Wildlife following investigations by wildlife
biologists. A steer was also killed by wolves from the Rogue
Pack in the same area on July 17.
“It’s a frustrating situation,” said rancher Jim Popson, who
discovered four wolves attacking a 725-pound yearling steer only
200 yards from his Fort Klamath home early Thursday morning. “It
seems to me the situation is escalating.”
Popson said the wolves ran off when he appeared, but the steer
died later that afternoon.
ODF&W reported fresh wolf tracks within six feet of the
yearling. Because the yearling was still alive, investigators
viewed fresh injuries on its legs, flanks and hindquarters,
“clear signs of predator attack and the size, number and
location of the bite injuries are similar to injuries on other
cattle attacked by wolves.”
So far, three cattle killings by wolves on Popson’s ranch have
been confirmed this year by ODF&W. A fourth kill was not
confirmed because Popson said “it was too badly torn apart to
The other kill occurred Friday on a neighboring ranch owned by
Bill Nicholson. The carcass of the 800-pound yearling steer was
skinned but not eaten, possibly, he believes, because the wolves
were scared off. ODF&W investigation found tooth scrapes and
tissue trauma. The report made the same conclusions as to the
“They got two of them,” said Nicholson, who called the attacks
Early Thursday morning, Jennifer Wampler, whose husband Butch
oversees operations on the Nicholson Ranch, was walking about
5:30 a.m. when she reportedly heard sounds of a cow in distress
and notified Popson. He immediately drove to the field about 200
yards from his house in a side-by-side vehicle.
“They saw me coming. They trotted off,” he said. “They’re not
afraid of us, they’ll just keep a safe distance.”
Wolves west of Highway 395 between Lakeview and Pendleton are
protected by the federal and state Endangered Species Acts,
although wolves east of Highway 395, which have higher
populations and depredations, lack that status.
According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, as of
April 15 the state had at least 158 wolves, a 15 percent
increase over last year.
Two other wolf attacks were reported in May. On May 14, a
650-pound yearling was found with much of it carcass eaten. On
May 11, another wolf kill was confirmed on a Fort Klamath area
ranch. According to the ODF&W report, that incident was also
attributed to the Rogue Pack.
None of the four wolves known to be part of the Rogue Pack has a
functioning monitor, although cameras have captured images of
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