The Pine Creek wolf pack, which killed four calves and injured seven others in the Halfway area during the first three weeks of April, hasn’t been implicated in any livestock attacks during May.
Both Phillip Perrine, a biologist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (ODFW) Baker City office, and Barry DelCurto, a Halfway rancher who owns a calf that was injured by wolves on April 18, use the same word to describe the past two weeks.
Perrine said data from the GPS tracking collars fitted to two of the pack’s five confirmed wolves suggest the animals have remained in the southern Wallowa Mountains near Fish Lake.
There are no cattle in that area, Perrine said.
“They must be finding something to eat,” Perrine said Thursday, referring to the wolves.
He said ODFW hasn’t received any complaints from local ranchers about possible wolf attacks since April 30.
On that day employees from the Pine Valley Ranch reported that a range rider had found a dead calf on private land a few miles southeast of Halfway.
State biologists examined the heavily scavenged carcass and estimated the calf had died April 28.
A fresh wolf track and wolf scat were found near the carcass, according to an ODFW investigation report, but bite marks on the calf, which were made before the animal died, “were not consistent with wolf bite scrape size or attack locations.”
DelCurto said he and his family have been striving to check daily on their cattle, which are grazing on a mixture of private and public land about 10 miles east of Halfway.
Between April 5 and April 18, ODFW confirmed that wolves killed four calves and injured seven others in the Halfway area.
See more in the May 11, 2018, issue of the Baker City Herald.