Recently, a post on a Facebook page claimed a pack of wolves was seen roaming in Central Oregon. But the proof of a pack as big as the post claims is shaky.
The post on the Deschutes County Farm Bureau page warned people about a wolf pack in the Lower Bridge area between Sisters and Terrebonne.
“They’ve already killed livestock,” the post read.
Hundreds of comments discussed the possibility of a pack up to 14-wolves strong.
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We reached out to farmers referred to us by the Deschutes County Farm Bureau, as well as those in the comments.
Farmer Russell Luloff saw two wolves in his neighbor’s field last February, and saw two of them again just last month.
“I couldn’t tell what the cows were looking at, and so I looked over where they’re looking at and I saw these two wolves,” he said. “And then they disappeared, and then we had some snow at that time, so I went over there and took pictures of their tracks in the snow to confirm that’s what they were.”
Another nearby landowner, Ryder Redfield, said his neighbor called him up in January to say that one of his surveyors saw ’11 to 16′ wolves on the 20th.
“Instantly we notified Fish and Game and let them know that they have permission to use the property for anything helping with wildlife and knowledge. There are numerous game cameras on site and none of which have images of wolves that I know of,” Redfield said.
He said he’d never spoken directly with the surveyor who claimed to have seen the pack, but that they had taken a photo which appeared to show ‘six blurry canines.’
Central Oregon Daily News has not been able to obtain this photo.
Two wolves is the most that ODFW has been able to confirm in the area.
“We’ve had a few reports of sightings in this area in the past couple of months. We also have cameras out, but we’ve not been able to confirm any activity with any kind of large pack size,” said Michelle Dennehy, the Statewide Communications Coordinator for ODFW.
She also denied the claim about wolf-caused livestock deaths in the area.
“No one has called and said ‘I’ve had a depredation by a wolf in that in the lower bridge area, please come and investigate,’” she said.
Central Oregon Daily News spoke with a rancher over the phone who said he had experienced a livestock attack, but he was unsure whether it was wolf-caused.
For now, Luloff’s concern lies more with the danger to the deer population rather than with his personal livestock.
“I don’t have too much fear with them. I think that they’re scared off fairly easy. But if they were in a pack of 11 to 14, I would be scared,” he said.
If you do have any more information about these alleged wolf pack sightings, you can visit odfw.com/wolves to report them.
Dennehy said that if they do receive reports of a larger pack, an investigation would follow.