FORT KLAMATH, Ore. — The pack of wolves known to frequent southern Oregon, usually called the "Rogue Pack," was likely responsible for another livestock kill in Klamath County, according to the latest wolf depredation report from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
On the morning of May 11, a ranch manager in the Fort Klamath area reported finding a dead yearling steer in an 80-acre private pasture, prompting a call to ODFW.
"Most muscle tissue and hide of the upper hindquarters and right shoulder/ribs were consumed, but the remainder of carcass and hide were largely intact," the ODFW report said. "The yearling was estimated to have died within 24 hours of the investigation."
ODFW's investigation concluded that the kill was confirmed to be from wolves, most likely of the Rogue Pack.
"The pre-mortem bite scrapes and muscle tissue trauma are clear signs of predator attack and the size, number, and location of the bite injuries are similar to injuries observed on other cattle attacked by wolves," the report states. "This depredation is attributed to wolves of the Rogue Pack."
The Rogue Pack has been one of the most active of the protected gray wolf groups in Oregon when it comes to preying the livestock of farmers and ranchers. Although ODFW's latest wolf report found that depredations went down last year, the Rogue Pack topped depredation lists over both 2019 and 2018.
The last recorded livestock kills by the Rogue Pack happened in Jackson County last fall.
Oregon's 2019 report on wolf packs throughout the state mentioned that the famed patron of the Rogue Pack, known as OR-7, may have died sometime over the fall or winter. His mate has remained active with at least three other wolves.
Oregon’s Wolf Plan mandates that ranchers use non-lethal means to keep wolves away before lethal removal can be considered. In 2019, ODFW said, those measures included removing attractants, hazing, electrified fladry, fence maintenance, radio-activated guard boxes, increased human presence, range riders and other husbandry practices.
“The wolf population continues to expand into areas where livestock producers have less experience with wolves. I have been impressed with the ingenuity of Oregon’s ranchers as they look for and implement new tools and techniques to reduce the vulnerability of their livestock on a landscape with wolves,” said ODFW wolf coordinator Roblyn Brown. “We appreciate all livestock producers for their efforts to co-exist with wolves.”