Second Wolf Killed in Washington’s Old Profanity Territory Pack

A second wolf in the Old Profanity Territory pack has been killed by a wildlife department marksman in Washington after the pack killed multiple cattle. ( Multimedia Graphic Network, Inc. )

Wildlife officials in Washington have confirmed that a second member of the Old Profanity Territory wolf pack was killed by a marksman after the pack had preyed on livestock.

A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) marksman shot and killed an adult female wolf from the Old Profanity Territory pack on Sept. 28. The wolf was spotted from a helicopter by WDFW along with another wolf earlier that day. It is believed that the adult wolf was the breeding female in the pack. Two weeks earlier a juvenile wolf was euthanized in the Old Profanity Territory pack on Sept. 16 after the pack repeatedly preyed on cattle on federal grazing lands in the Kettle River Range of Ferry County.

A kill order was put in place by WDFW on Sept. 12 after the Old Profanity Territory pack attacked cattle six different times from Sept. 4 to 7. At the time the pack killed a calf and injured five calves on a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) grazing allotment. The frequency of attacks warranted incremental removal of wolves from the pack, which means one or two wolves could be removed.

The day after the juvenile wolf was removed it was confirmed that a cow was killed a few days prior to the young wolf being euthanized.

There are believed to be two wolves remaining in the Old Profanity Territory pack, an adult male and a juvenile. However, the juvenile has not been seen during the week that the adult female was removed.

Prior to lethal action being taken there were non-lethal deterrents implemented by the impacted rancher, including:

  • Using range riders to keep watch over his herd
  • Calving outside of occupied wolf range
  • Using foxlights at salting locations in high wolf use areas
  • Delaying turning out cattle until July 10 – a month later than usual – when calving is finished and the calves are larger and less prone to predation
  • Removing or securing livestock carcasses to avoid attracting wolves to the rest of the herd
  • Removing sick and injured livestock from the grazing area

The rancher plans to remove the majority of the cattle off of federal grazing allotments to adjacent private grazing lands by mid-October.

Two activists groups attempted to halt the kill order similar to what had been done in a depredation case in August. However, a Thurston County judge rejected the injunctionthat was sought by the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands.

The depredation case that occurred in August eventually was addressed when a male wolf was killed in northern Ferry County by a WDWF marksman from a helicopter.

The Old Profanity Territory pack is running in an area near the Profanity Peak pack which was believed to be killed or moved territories after a similar case of cattle depredation in 2016.

For more information about the livestock depredation cases involving wolf packs in Washington read the following stories: