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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Wolf kills confirmed in Baker County

Wolf kills confirmed in Baker County

Deer killed near Ruckles Creek, elk killed near Durkee, ODFW officials say

BAKER CITY — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that a group of four wolves killed a female deer on Feb. 7 near Ruckles Creek about 10 miles east of Baker City, and that wolves, possibly the same group, fed on and probably killed an adult cow elk about 10 days later near Durkee.


ODFW officials don’t know where the wolves came from or where they are now, said Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist at ODFW’s Baker City office.

No attacks on livestock have been reported.

In early February Russ Morgan, ODFW’s wolf coordinator, said he believes five wolves had spent at least the previous month in the Medical Springs area, about 22 miles northeast of Baker City.

It’s possible, but not confirmed, that those wolves killed the doe at Ruckles Creek and the elk near Durkee, Ratliff said.

Officials were able to narrow down the time the wolves killed the deer because ODFW, along with the Oregon State Police, were investigating a report of dead golden eagles near Ruckles Creek on Feb. 6. 

The next morning, in the same area they had looked over the previous day, officials found the dead deer, and tracks from four wolves in the snow, Ratliff said.

“The deer was not there the day before,” he said. 

In the Durkee area, a landowner reported finding wolf tracks and an elk carcass on either Sunday or Monday, Ratliff said.

ODFW confirmed that at least three wolves had consumed most of the elk. The carcass was in such condition that it wasn’t certain the wolves killed the elk, but that’s likely, Ratliff said.

Ratliff said he took an airplane flight over the area Tuesday morning but he didn’t see any wolves.

He said officials collected wolf scat but so far none has been submitted for DNA testing.

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