A rancher was justified in shooting a wolf that was attacking cattle in northern Ferry County, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says.
The rancher shot the female wolf Oct. 27 on private grazing lands and reported it to WDFW. The wolf was outside any pack’s territory, according to WDFW.
State law allows the shooting of a wolf that’s caught in the act of attacking livestock in the eastern one-third of Washington, where wolves are not a federally protected species. Wolves are federally protected in the rest of the state.
The shooting was the second time this year a wolf has been shot in Washington while attacking livestock. WDFW concluded a ranch employee was justified in shooting one of two wolves from the Smackout pack attacking livestock June 30 on U.S. Forest Service land. WDFW later killed two wolves in the pack to stop chronic depredations.
WDFW did not state in a written report whether investigators linked the wolf shot Oct. 27 to a particular pack. Efforts to obtain more information were not successful.
WDFW also reported Thursday that a calf was injured by wolves, also in Ferry County, fewer than 3 miles from where the wolf was shot. The depredation was reported to WDFW to Nov. 2. WDFW did not report whether it connected any pack with the depredation.