ODFW Wolf.jpg

Nine confirmed attacks on lambs were attributed to the Ukiah Pack on private land eight miles south of Meacham — the first known report of this pack interacting with livestock.

LA GRANDE — Nine confirmed attacks on lambs were attributed to the Ukiah Pack on private land eight miles south of Meacham — the first known report of this pack interacting with livestock.

According to an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife report, a sheep herder in the Kamela area of Mount Emily notified a ranch hand on July 4 that sheep had scattered from around their bedding area near his trailer the previous evening.

That same morning, the report said, a member of the public found two dead ewes and one dead lamb on the same timbered, privately owned pasture and notified the ranch hand. An additional three dead lambs, one dead ewe and two injured lambs were discovered, one of which wasn’t found until July 7. All of the animals are believed to have been injured or killed on the evening of July 3.

Of the dead sheep, one was mostly consumed, two were completely intact, two were mostly intact and two were partially consumed. Tracks of multiple wolves were found near several of the carcasses. GPS data located a radio-collared Ukiah wolf within 150 yards around the time of the attack where three of the sheep carcasses were found.

The Ukiah Pack was first identified in 2020 with six members, according to ODFW’s annual wolf report. The pack includes the collared breeding male, OR60, and the collared breeding female, OR107. It’s yet unknown whether or not the pair had pups this year, according to Greg Rimbach, Pendleton district biologist.

“Our plans are to ascertain this information for breeding status in the next few weeks with aerial flights and trail cameras,” Rimbach said.

There have been as many as 25 areas of known wolf activity in the Blue and Wallowa mountains north of Interstate 84 and six areas in the Blue Mountains south of Interstate 84 since wolves moved into Northeast Oregon from Idaho. Rimbach said biologists have worked with the rancher who lost the sheep earlier this month for many years to reduce conflict with wolves.

“We have notified the livestock producer of geographical pack activity and encouraged the continuing use of electrified night penning,” he said.

Livestock losses and injuries confirmed by state biologists to be caused by wolves qualify the owner to financial compensation through a program managed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Last year, Union County producers were paid $1,330 for dead or injured animals. The county also received $16,000 to be used for nonlethal deterrents to protect livestock.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.