WDFW Kills Two Wedge Wolves
“We are committed to the recovery and sustainability of the gray wolf in Washington, and its numbers are increasing rapidly, but recovery won’t succeed if ranchers’ livelihoods are threatened by persistent wolf attacks on livestock,”said Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson.
WDFW reports that one of their marksmen killed two wolves of the Wedge Pack from a helicopter early this afternoon.
The pair were shot 7 miles south of the Canadian border in northern Stevens County near where the pack is blamed for killing or injuring at least 17 of the Diamond M Ranch's calves and cows this summer, according to the agency.
After hunting for 20 days without success in late August and early to mid-September, the state significantly ramped up its efforts late last week, but after several days of "around-the-clock activity" without a kill took to the air on Monday.
The two wolves were among six seen southeast of the ranch's grazing allotment in the Colville National Forest, WDFW reports.
Another was spotted this morning in a Diamond M pasture on private ground.
“We decided to eliminate the Wedge Pack only after non-lethal measures were unsuccessful, and after the removal of one pack member failed to alter its behavior,” said WDFW Director Phil Anderson in a press release. “We are committed to the recovery and sustainability of the gray wolf in Washington, and its numbers are increasing rapidly, but recovery won’t succeed if ranchers’ livelihoods are threatened by persistent wolf attacks on livestock.”
The other wolf, killed in mid-August, was a nonbreeding female.
There was no early word on the sex or age of the two lethally removed today, but the agency will perform necropsies on the carcasses later this week. Their hides and skulls will be used for educational purposes.
The hunt continues for the rest of the pack, according to WDFW.