Wolf collared in Oregon, then released

The collared sub-adult male was traveling with a second smaller wolf near Baker-

News Story: Wolf collared, then released, near Baker City. Written by Jayson Jacoby. Baker City Herald.
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Oregon Fish and Game News Release.

Wolf radio-collared and released in eastern Oregon

LA GRANDE, Ore. – A joint effort by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife specialists resulted in the capture, radio-collaring, and release of a male wolf on Sunday morning, May 3, at approximately 7 a.m. PT. The event marks the first radio-collaring of a wolf in Oregon.

The wolf captured and radio-collared was an 87-pound male estimated to be about 2 years old. The track size and a second, smaller wolf seen at the capture site indicate that the wolf is one of two involved in several livestock depredations in the Keating Valley area of Baker County over the past few weeks.

USFWS and ODFW had been attempting to trap these wolves since mid-April, after confirming the first known livestock depredation by wolves since they began their return to Oregon in the late 1990s.

The radio collar will be used as a tool to help prevent further livestock losses. ODFW staff will be monitoring the radio collar to determine the wolves’ movement patterns and alert ranchers to wolf activity in the area. They can also be used with RAG (radio activated guard) boxes, which emit loud noises when a radio-collared wolf approaches.

As of today (May 4, 2009) wolves in the eastern portion of Oregon (east of highways 395, 78 and 95) are “de-listed,” or removed from protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Wolves in this area remain protected by Oregon’s ESA, while wolves west of the boundary remain protected by both the federal and state ESA.

Oregon’s Wolf Management Plan provides livestock producers and wildlife managers with specific tools to respond to wolf depredation. For more information, see ODFW’s wolf Web page at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/ or call ODFW’s La Grande office at (541) 963-2138.

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Here is a large photo of the collared wolf.



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  1. Linda Hunter Avatar

    I wish they would tell us how they “confirmed” the predation of wolves on the lambs. It was such a domestic dog type of attack that it nags my sense of fairness not to know if they really did get some concrete forensic evidence that the wolves in fact did the deed. It just seems so strange that as skinny as they are, they didn’t eat. I don’t watch television very often but today while I was getting new tires I couldn’t avoid hearing a newscast about a dog that was attacked by a cougar. There was no evidence that the dog was attacked by a cat except it was bitten. The dog was still alive. The vet assumed it was a cougar and the news took that assumption a step further and now the neighborhood is terrified. What a crock! Many people, official or not, know so little about how to look at a scene of violence and read the tracks or look at it objectively. . but we can say it, even if we can’t prove it. That’s the news for you.

  2. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Craig that is exactly my point. I have read and re-read this article and they said the the experts in other states have confirmed that the animals in the pictures are wolves. . but the rest of it seems to have been done by process of elimination. They say tracks and scat and bite marks and stuff don’t prove it was done by anything else than wolves and not necessarily the wolves in the pictures. They don’t yet, or haven’t disclosed that the scat held lamb parts and DNA of wolves. Perhaps if they had a picture of wolves actually touching the sheep with blood on a nose it would help. I just want someone to confirm it with forensic evidence, not theory or conjecture or process of elimination. Wildlife field work is difficult as anyone who has done it knows. Since animals don’t have lawyers they frequently get branded guilty even if there isn’t watertight evidence. Perhaps in this case I am wrong, I just wanted more facts. When wildlife officials say they have confirmed something I want to know how. Not, heaven forbid, that I don’t trust them!

  3. Craig Avatar

    Determining if it was wolves or not is not the big issue! I call on this area every other week and the people I sell Lumber ect to sell to all the stockmen. They are ready to kill every Wolf, Coyote or anything they see on there property now because of this story! The fish and game and the Defenders of Wildlife really need to get in there and educate these people on ways to prevent Wolves from preying on there livestock! You think Idaho is bad? Go listen to these Ol’ time ranchers over there!!!

  4. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Linda, while I am not going to deny that the wolves may very well have killed those lambs, the photos are not completely concrete evidence. There is a small chance that the wolves could have been scavenging. That is the problem with these attacks. Unless you catch the wolves in the act you are not always 100% sure. However if there is a reliable pattern, then maybe the blame can be fairly passed to the wolves. This is why it is important for ranchers to be as proactive as they can with livestock protection. However, I do believe that if the rancher did take proper precautions he should be compensated.

  5. Chris H Avatar
    Chris H

    if I read the first article in the link provided by Craig correctly, It said that before this big attack there were a couple of sheep killed two days beforehand.
    If wolves did this then of course they are to blame and my guess is we will never get to see the report.
    What I don’t understand though, is – if this happened on a small scale beforehand, what did the rancher do to protect the flock from attack – if anything?
    Moreover, he must have known wolves were somewhere in the area for a month or two now, maybe longer.
    does anyone know if there was indeed an earlier attack and/or what was done to prevent it?

  6. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Craig says: You think Idaho is bad? Go listen to these Ol’ time ranchers over there!!! I believe him. It doesn’t matter what the so called facts are the point is that these guys have probably whipped themselves up into a frenzy over having wolves in their area. Farming and ranching in America is long overdue for some changes and if I understand the economic drift at all, they will have some hard times before they realize it. When they shoot up all the wolves and coyotes then they will have to deal with the rats, mice and woodchucks again. If you were a rancher it would be darn hard to understand what direction to take your business right now with the new craze of eating locally, not so much beef, and people growing their own food. My point in commenting here was that it is easy to manufacture facts out of theories and I just wish wildlife officers would credit the public with a little more understanding and give us their reasons for confirming something.

  7. Ryan Avatar


    Set down your granola bars and bongoes for a second and think about what your saying. The small time rancher/farmer is much better than the new industrial farm producers we are seeing as of late. As far as the craze of eating locally, my local big box supermarkets still seem to be plenty busy and their isn’t too much todo about local foods.

    “My point in commenting here was that it is easy to manufacture facts out of theories and I just wish wildlife officers would credit the public with a little more understanding and give us their reasons for confirming something.”

    Do your really think the average american knows jack shit about ecology, livestock predation, etc? Who did good on american idol last night yes, how the world works no. It seems that conspiracy theories abound on both sides of the issues as of late.

  8. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Ryan LOL!!!! you are really funny for a rainy day! . . and scary. I hope the average American is not that stupid . . but since I haven’t watch TV for 30 years maybe I am just hoping. You also must live in “town” . . sorry. And hey, I never said I was a “wolf lover” aka a granola eating etc. I don’t particularly like wolves personally, but I believe in wolf recovery. I am a tracker and I don’t like sloppy wildlife work.

  9. Ryan Avatar


    Grew up in several small towns across the Pacific Northwest, due to economic requirements am now required to live in a Large metropolitan area (hate it). Most people don’t know shit about the wild and are either completly scarred of it or retardedly bold about their dealings with it. My favorite comment was from a coworker of mine who was chastizing me for hunting last year, Her comment was that there was no need to kill an animal because I could just buy meat from the grocery store. When I asked a bit more, appearantly the meat from the grocery store doesn’t involve an animal dieing to get it lol. I gave up at that point and let her gat back to Cosmo and gossiping about celebrities (this appearantly fills the space in her mind where common knowledge goes). From what I have figured out. The Average american has the common sense of Homer Simpson.

  10. John d. Avatar
    John d.


    Your coworker was only a tad off, rather said when there is food available why kill more? It is superfluous killing. Now if you were a person out in the woods living in a shack with no access to humans or technology whatsoever, then you’d have a reason – of course you wouldn’t have guns, traps, calls… ect..

    You apparently don’t know jack either, what with the killing of coyotes for personal pleasure then trying to justify it with illogical statements. That being said I shall not add any more the comment.

  11. JB Avatar

    “Your coworker was only a tad off, rather said when there is food available why kill more?”

    (1) Because lean, wild game is more healthy for you then the hormone-infused, corn-fed crap you can buy at the supermarket, and (2) because killing game forces you to deal with the fact that your eating meat requires that some animal (domestic or wild) give its life. If people were forced to deal with this fact every time they ate meat, they would eat a lot less meat and likely be a lot healthier.

    FYI: I agree with you (and disagree with Ryan) about killing coyotes; but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong about everything.

  12. Ryan Avatar

    John D.

    Always appreciate a shot across the bow. 🙂 As for the coyote thing, your entitled to your position as I am to mine. The difference, I don’t tell you what you do is wrong, but you seem hell bent on telling me how wrong what I do is.

  13. Trent Avatar

    I have lived in Oregon my whole life and have spent a decent amount of time in the area these wolves currently inhabit. I was also exploring the area last weekend when this wolf was collared and tagged. In addition, I recently attended a lecture by Russ Morgan- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Wolf Coordinator and feel I have a pretty good idea of what is going on regarding wolves in Oregon.
    I am sure the wolves killed the sheep and the calf in mid April based on all the wolf experts involved, the geographic location of the ranches that lost livestock and the location the wolf was trapped. I also believe a lot of ranchers have taken steps to prevent depredation of their livestock. Many ranches I drove past this weekend had both herding dogs and guard dogs and their livestock was penned close to their homes. Obviously wolves are alarming to ranchers, as it should be, since the wolf is a threat. Just like most issues we all hear about, the extreme views are the ones expressed, as extremist are most active in expressing their views. I assure you there are a number of ranchers who are taking extra precautions and would not mind seeing wolves return to Oregon in stable numbers, as long as there is a sensible wolf management plan. I currently believe there is a sensible wolf management plan in Oregon and ranchers played a part in developing that plan. Just like in other states there will continue to be controversy over the wolf especially concerning livestock losses. Over time I am confident we will all be able to adapt, compromise and learn how to live with wolves as long as we do not let the extremists be them pro-wolf or
    anti-wolf make the rules. My point being the majority of us probably need to speak up more, so rational decisions are made regarding wolf issues and other issues.



Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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