Two steers killed by wolves in Fort Klamath
Wolf kills of two yearling steers on two neighboring Fort
Klamath area ranches, the first discovered last Monday and
second on Wednesday, have been confirmed by the Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Both kills are attributed by ODFW to wolves from the Rogue Pack.
The first kill was discovered Monday morning by Butch Wampler,
ranch manager for the Nicholson Ranch. The 650-pound yearling
steer was found partially eaten in an 80-acre private land grass
pasture. According to ODFW, after the carcass was partially
shaved and skinned, investigators found tooth scrapes up to a
quarter-of-an-inch wide and 9 inches long along both flanks.
Postmortem tooth scrapes near both elbows up to
three-quarters-of-an-inch and 4 inches long and associated
tissue trauma up to 2 inches deep were also found.
According to ODFW depredation reports, the findings “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.”
Nicholson said Wampler also saw a large wolf less than 50 yards
away from him while he was working in the ranch’s pasture. “He
just hung around for a while and rumbled off. He wasn’t in a big
hurry to leave,” Nicholson said of the wolf.
The second wolf kill, again of a 650-pound yearling steer, was
discovered Wednesday night on the JaCox Ranch, which is between
the Nicholson Ranch and Fremont-Winema National Forest
forestlands. “They ate more of this one,” Nicholson said of what
remained of the carcass.
“The wolves were definitely eating on it,” said JaCox owner Jim
Popson of the yearling steer found Wednesday. “They started
awful early this year. I hope it stops, but I don’t know.”
Tom Collum, a biologist with ODFW, said the second kill was
confirmed Friday. “We’re continuing to monitor that. We’re also
trying to trap and get a collar on one of those rascals” so that
the agency can attempt to track the pack’s movement, he said.
None of the Rogue Pack wolves has been collared, which provides
information that can help determine pack movements. Foothold
traps are used to try to capture wolves but, as Collum said,
“It’s not an easy endeavor,” noting wolves have a keen sense of
He said wolf management plans are being coordinated with the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tentative plans call for having
personnel camp overnight in pastures to make noise and create a
human presence to discourage wolves. “That seems to be the only
non-lethal tool that’s effective,” Collom said.
“There’s a lot of activity. There’s been a lot of signs of
wolves,” Nicholson said, noting it’s speculated the Rogue Pack
has moved to the east side of the Cascades from the Prospect
area. According to Nicholson, cameras in the Wood River Valley,
located in the Fort Klamath region north of Klamath Falls and
south of Crater Lake National Park, have recorded images of
wolves and there also has been a report of a pregnant wolf near
“They are here much earlier,” Collum said, noting this is the
first year that a female wolf has denned on the west side of the
A single wolf kill was reported in 2019 on June 2, when it was
determined a 750-pound yearling steer had been killed by the
Rogue Pack on the Nicholson Ranch. Also in 2019, two kills by
Rogue Pack wolves were confirmed in Jackson County in November
and two others in October.
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