The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed a Nov. 10 wolf attack on a 600-lb. calf that was grazing on a Forest Service allotment on the Imnaha Divide. The calf was seriously wounded but survived the attack. The attack follows a confirmed wolf depredation of another calf Oct. 27 in the nearby Harl Butte area.
ODFW wildlife biologist Mike Hansen confirmed the incident Friday.
“The stockgrower was able to find it and bring it in the vet’s office (the Double Arrow clinic), and they’re taking care of it,” Hansen said. “They (clinic staff) think the calf might make it.”
Hansen said there was little doubt the attack involved the Imnaha Pack, as it was reported in the area about two days before.
“It’s part of their territory,” Hansen said.
Wallowa County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Fred Steen said the affected rancher notified him of the attack late in the afternoon of Nov. 10. Hunters in the area had discovered the profusely bleeding calf and its mother. They shot video footage of the affected animal as well as tracks and signs of a struggle in the area. The hunters notified a nearby homeowner, who notified the affected rancher.
The rancher located his calf the next day, although the search failed to turn up the calf’s mother. The rancher brought the calf to the clinic, where it was examined by Hansen, Steen and a veterinarian. All the examiners agreed that the injuries were the result of a wolf attack.
According to Steen, the affected rancher has been gathering cattle from the area since mid-September and was short about five cows and two calves as of Nov. 11.
The rancher could not be reached for comment.