Montana wolves kill 120 domestic rams
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
August 25, 2009
The Montana, Fish Wildlife and Parks reports that a pack of wolves hit a herd of domestic rams, called "bucks" in a private pasture near Dillon, Montana, last week, and the number of dead sheep is estimated at 120, leaving only about a dozen alive.
Here's the report:
"On 8/17, MTWS also got a call from a sheep producer that an unknown number of buck sheep had been killed in the Rock Creek area (private land) of the Blacktail south of Dillon. [This producer had lost sheep in late July from a group of three wolves (2 blacks and 1 gray). A control action to remove the three wolves was initiated in July in response to the sheep loss. FWP had also discussed the feasibility of increasing protection of the buck sheep through herders, dogs, or fladry. WS removed the gray and wounded one of the blacks on 7/27]. On 8/18, WS flew the sheep pasture looking for the one or two remaining blacks to complete the control work FWP had already requested and found the Centennial Pack within a 1/2 mile of the sheep pasture (3 adult grays and 5 pups). WS was then authorized to remove the uncollared adult from the Centennial pack, which they did that same morning (the 18th). This was the first depredation incident for the Centennial pack in 2009. WS was also still authorized to finish up control work for the 1 or 2 remaining black wolves.
"Also on 8/18, WS began the necropsy work on injured / dead bucks in this same pasture and losses are significant. The exact final tally of injured or dead bucks from this week’s investigation is not available at this time, but it is estimated to be about 120 bucks. The remaining 12-14 bucks were gathered and taken to the home ranch. A couple of those were injured and are not expected to survive. The exact final tally of injured and dead buck sheep will be published in a future wolf weekly. The status of the 1-2 black wolves is unknown at this time. During a monitoring flight on 8/20, no black wolves were seen in the area and the Centennial pack was not near any livestock."