Wolf OR-7 returns to Oregon (permanently?)

Luckless wolf that went to California is back in Oregon-

The world’s currently most famous wolf, OR-7, born in NE Oregon, seems to have abandoned California and returned to Oregon.

He spent over a year looking for a female wolf, but there are probably no California girl wolves. During his search, he explored a fair amount of far northern California, and almost went to Nevada.

The California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife now has published the details of the area he inhabited. This is probably because he is not there anymore. At any rate, he eventually settled into an area to the west and southwest of Lake Almanor (reservoir), not near its shore, but about 10 to 20 miles west.

In January he was about 25 miles west of the lake.  In February, he moved to the southwest and south of the lake. The country is forested, some parts  heavily. Some parts are wild or semi-wild. Others have been clearcut. Most of the area has vehicular access, but not a lot of people on the reverting dirt roads. He seems to have avoided livestock.

In March, his pattern changed completely. He abruptly traveled north into the Oregon Cascades.

The Plumas County News has a most interesting article on the wolf and his wanderings and then his semi-settlement in the area described above. Gray wolf’s California quest comes to an end. By Michael Condon. Plumas County News staff writer.




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  1. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    I hope he meets a female in the Oregon Cascades.

  2. SAP Avatar

    I like the map — intriguing to see how OR-7 “bounced” off I-5 a few times. Seems likely he was purposely avoiding all the activity around there.

    Also interesting to compare his movements with a precipitation map:


    Similar to I-5, seems like the high desert country in Lassen and Modoc counties seem to have deflected him. In contrast, his travels seemed to localize in more productive country in western Plumas County. Part of the appeal there may have been low human density (but the desert has low human density, too, so I’d go with productivity).

    1. alf Avatar

      Interesting observation.

      But, on the other hand, look at the miles and miles of high desert he had to cross in eastern Oregon between the Wallowas and the Cascades

    2. Wolfy Avatar

      Don’t blame him; I shy away from I-5 when I can help it, too.

  3. Louise Kane Avatar

    I hope he stays out of Idaho and that they don’t publish his whereabouts.

  4. Nancy Avatar

    Thanks Ralph for playing this story forward. And Kudos to Micheal Condon for sharing thoughts that have more to do with wildlife and little to do with the whiners, always looking for frontpage, in our species 🙂

    1. Robert R Avatar
      Robert R

      OR7 needs to loose the collar and be treated as a wild animal and not someone’s pet that’s ran away and come home?

      1. Louise Kane Avatar

        why are you so hateful about wolves? This wolf in particular has become a personality. People do loved wolves their beauty, wildness and in this case, this wolf’s perseverance. If people think of him as a friend or quirky personality what’s so terrible about that? Its a lot more interesting to think about the miles he has traveled and his attempts at perhaps avoiding humans then to hear spiteful remarks made whilst someone sits at a computer waiting to pounce on the least bit of positive news related to wolves.

        1. savebears Avatar


          It really sounds like you are sitting at a computer to pounce as well, you pounce on the positive and you pounce on the negative, I really don’t think you have much room to criticize.

          There are many different people in this country and they have their different opinions about the wolves.

          1. Louise Kane Avatar

            well at least you are predictable SB. I’m feeling testy about Robert’s knee jerk comments every time I write something. so maybe I reacted this time, thankfully at least you are there to correct me

            1. SAP Avatar

              Hmmm . . . not saying this is definitely the case here, now, but, this issue might make more sense if you recognize that much of the hatred is way more directed at pro-wolf people than it is toward wolves. NOTE: I am not saying that the hatred is justified or acceptable — it just is. NOTE ALSO: I am not saying that this surrogate hatred is what’s going on with everyone who has a problem with wolves. There are real, practical problems that go along with living with wolves and other wildlife.

              In many cases, take a look at who is doing the hating. They’re filled with resentment, and a lot of it is directed at folks who they perceive as being more privileged. I have a neighbor who is just seething with resentment toward “greenies,” “treehuggers,” “pilgrims,” whatever. And wolves, too, of course. Sometimes it’s directed toward specific people, behind their backs as a rule.

              My neighbor’s conflicts are almost wholly imaginary. One of his three ex-wives tells me that the poor guy’s dad just never really acknowledged anything he did, never gave him any positive feedback. He has a gnawing, insatiable need for approval and recognition, that in part manifests itself as constant bragging and talking only about himself — which, predictably, tends to alienate people. Well-adjusted people don’t do that, or if they do, they have some self awareness that leads to some different social strategies.

              With folks who aren’t ready to take responsibility for themselves, they lash out, blame, and resent. But it wouldn’t be very “cowboy” to say, “I hate Mark & Suzy because they hurt my feelings and make me feel insignificant.” Way better to denounce them as pilgrims or treehuggers who think they know better than everybody else. Getting caught up in some imaginary conflict of identity is such an effective way of not having to look at one’s own life!

              “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

              — James A. Baldwin

              1. Nancy Avatar

                🙂 🙂 🙂

              2. Mareks Vilkins Avatar
                Mareks Vilkins

                thanks, SAP!


            2. savebears Avatar


              you are predictable, every time you pounce you hurt your cause and it gives fuel to the anti’s so when they make the claim pro wolf people are crazy they can quote comments like yours.

        2. Robert R Avatar
          Robert R

          Whoa back up Louise! I am not hatful of wolves! I didn’t say people don’t love wolves.
          Think about it for moment. The possibility of someone tracking OR7 by the collar and yes wondering into a not friendly state.
          For the record Louise its not a knee jerk reaction I’m trying to be realistic and
          treat wild animals like wild animals not pets. It does not mean I want this wolf killed.
          I can understand you being against any type of hunting or trapping and I’m fine with that, and everyone has there own opinion and values.

          1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
            Ralph Maughan


            Tracking an unknown frequency collar is not easy unless you have a good idea where it is already.

  5. Mark L Avatar
    Mark L

    I see your point, Robert R…..better he ends up an anonymous doting grandpa with 20 young than a famous martyr. Agreed.

    1. Ida Lupine Avatar
      Ida Lupine

      Yes. 🙂

  6. ramses09 Avatar

    I wish that he could of found his mate. I worry for his safety – all I can do is hope & send positive thoughts his way.

    Be very careful OR-7, you are & will be hunted @ all times. Be safe my wolf friend.Be very, very careful.

  7. Richie G Avatar
    Richie G

    I said this before,but in the science times their was an article about Yellowstone,and about a wolf who traveled over a thousand miles in one year,only be be killed by a rancher I believe,where the wolf started from origin.Now think in the 50’s hobows who traveled by rail cars thousand of miles.Think if one of these people got killed for a person thinking they were stealing their property,and they were just trying to travel on. Pretty sad when you add the human element to it,people who love animals feel the same sadness for the wolf. Their was a picture called “call of the wild”,where the researcher thought to himself at the end of the picture,he would never do research into unchartered wilderness.He felt this way because, their will always be people to follow and exploit the land for profit,see an indian killed a white wolf for a set of brand new dentures.So I hope our OR-7 has a good long life,this would take some of the hurt out of all the other wolves being for nothing,opps almost nothing.P.S. and all the othe wild aniamls being kiled for nothing.


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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Ralph Maughan