STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Tuesday it will stop killing members of a wolf pack that has shown no sign of preying on livestock in Stevens County since late July.
State officials received reports from ranchers that the Smackout pack in Eastern Washington were repeatedly preying on livestock in Stevens County. To combat the repeated predation, state wildlife managers trapped and killed two members of the pack between July 20 and July 30. The operation has since been suspended.
Since the suspension, the department said it has found no evidence wolves have preyed on area livestock. “Our goal was to change the pack’s behavior, and the break in wolf depredations on livestock is consistent with the desired outcome,” WDFW wolf manager Donny Martorello said.
The Smackout pack is one of 20 packs documented in the state since last year. Even after removing two wolves, the Smackout pack is still one of the largest packs in Washington according to Martorello.