PROSPECT, Ore. — Ted Birdseye owns 276 acres on the Mil-Mar Ranch in Prospect. Between horses, cattle, and dogs, he oversees almost 100 animals on his property.
Birdseye said that he has lived on the property with his family for four years, and wolf attacks have been on the rise. By now, Birdseye claims that the Rogue Pack has killed almost 10 of his animals — including 2 puppies.
Birdseye has tried multiple non-lethal preventative measure to keep his livestock safe. He's tried wire fencing and red flags surrounding his property. Idaho's Defenders of Wildlife gave him an inflatable "dancing man" to put on his property to scare the wolves away. But he said it didn't work for long. One of his calves was killed on Saturday.
"Saturday morning, about 4 in the morning, the dogs started going nuts. So when the dogs start barking, then we go out and start the dancing man every night when we first got him and we got to thinking about how they say the habituation rates are about 45 to 90 days and those animals . . . the wolves will get used to it," said Birdseye.
Birdseye went to his pasture and marked where the wolves entered and attacked the calve and he laid a tarp on the calf until crews could come investigate.
"If they're confirmed kills through the Oregon Department of Agriculture, we can get compensation for those animals," says Birdseye.
He says that usually he gets about $1,000 per calf, but Birdseye says there have been several cases where he knows an animal was killed by a wolf but since it couldn't be proved, he never received the money.
"What isn't really taken into consideration, for example, a horse, I believe that figure is also a $1,000, maybe $1,500, but if you've got an animal that is a stallion, that might be worth 10 thousand dollars," Birdseye explains.
Even if the wolf pack on this property doesn't end in a fatally, he says it's still an inconvenience and huge stress in his life. When he sees a wolf, he has to get on his quad, ride out to the pasture and chase it away. This often happens in the middle of the night.
Birdseye says he just wants a long-term solution that will keep his livestock and puppies safe.