Possible Wolf Depredation in Eastern Oregon
For Eastern Oregon Ranch Tom Rietmann, dealing with wolves is part of summering his cattle in the Blue Mountains east of Weston. Last week, one of Rietmann’s yearling was discovered dead and had been eaten by Umatilla River pack wolves. He explains
Rietmann: “This was an 800 pound yearling, we don’t know how long it had been dead when we first came to it. But we do know that at least half of the carcass was still there at that time and within 12 hours that half -- or roughly 400 pounds had been carried away.”
Because the carcass disappeared before it could be examined by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife -- the cause of the yearling’s death could not be determined.
In Oregon, the rules state that before ODFW can use lethal control against wolves, it must confirm four qualifying incidents of harassment or depredation within a six-month time frame However, as anyone who has run livestock in the mountains can attest actually witnessing the harassment or confirmation of a kill is often the trickiest part.
Rietmann says that is a big source of frustration for him and other ranchers as they just want to protect their livestock from being harmed.