One domestic calf was killed and one calf was most likely killed by wolves on private land south of Butte near Divide. USDA Wildlife Services confirmed the depredations on Aug. 22 and Sept. 10.
“Prior to the Aug. depredation, this was an unknown pack,” said Liz Bradley, FWP wolf management specialist. “FWP asked Wildlife Services to trap and collar a wolf in the area. The new pack was named the Fleecer Mountain Pack.”
A female wolf was collared and released on Aug. 23. The wolf was found to have an old injury to her right front leg. After collaring, FWP biologists monitored the activity and movements of the animal. The wolf remained in the area close to livestock and subsequently joined up with three other wolves.
After a report from the landowner of four wolves attempting to attack a calf, Wildlife Services removed one uncollared wolf on Sept. 10.
On the same day, Wildlife Services confirmed a second probable wolf-killed calf. The landowner subsequently reported two additional missing calves. The wolves remained close to the cattle and personnel reported them chasing cattle.
FWP authorized Wildlife Services to remove the entire pack because the wolves appeared to be keying in on the domestic livestock. The control action was completed on Sept. 24.
To learn more about Montana’s recovered wolf population, visit FWP online at www.fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/wolf, where visitors can also tell FWP when they see wolves or wolf sign. The information helps to verify the activity, distribution, and pack size of Montana’s recovered wolf population.