Two more juvenile wolves were trapped and killed by Idaho Wildlife Services on the Flat Top Ranch last week.
The control action on July 10 brought the number of wolves killed at the ranch near Carey to a total of six, including three juveniles, on four occasions since late May. The actions came in response to four incidents of depredation on sheep flocks that occurred between mid-May and late June.
According to ranch owner John Peavey, the wolves have killed a total of about 50 sheep. However, he said additional lambs have died as the result of their mothers’ being killed.
“We’ve been picking up lambs in the process of starving,” Peavey said.
Feedlot owner Forrest Arthur, of Paul, Idaho, said lambs are currently worth $95 and ewes $135, putting Flat Top Ranches losses in the neighborhood of $5,000.
Idaho Wildlife Services Director Todd Grimm said the recently killed juveniles weighed more than 30 pounds, about the size of a coyote. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s website, an adult female wolf weighs between 60 and 80 pounds and a male between 70 and 110 pounds.
Grimm said the control action remains open at the ranch.
“Wolves are still present and active near the livestock in the area,” he said.
Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife, contended that the wolves were drawn to the ranch primarily by its policy of allowing ewes to give birth on the range, rather than in sheds or enclosed pastures.
“At this point, there isn’t anything that can be done to meaningfully reduce conflicts there,” she said.
Stone said her organization has met with Peavey many times to discuss deterrent methods and expects to do so again.
“We’d like to help them avoid going through the same situation next year, but if nothing changes, they will,” she said.