BUTTE FALLS — A cow calf was found dead and almost completely devoured Wednesday at the same ranch where the Rogue Pack of gray wolves was blamed for a calf kill last week, authorities said.
While there has not yet been a final determination of responsibility for the killing, Rogue Pack wolf OR-54's GPS collar showed it was standing in Ted Birdseye's pasture at 2 a.m. Wednesday, the same time Birdseye said his dogs "went berserk," as they do when wolves are nearby.
The carcass was found later that morning by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crews installing flags, bright lights and other nonlethal wolf deterrents in an attempt to scare wolves away from Birdseye's 276-acre ranch near Medco Pond between Prospect and Butte Falls.
"They devoured that calf, so I believe it was more than one wolf," Birdseye said.
Also discovered at the scene were wolf prints. Parts of the carcass were taken by an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist for further investigation.
Fish and Wildlife Service biologist John Stephenson confirmed that GPS data pegged OR-54 — a 2-year-old female offspring of pack patriarch OR-7 and the only member of the Rogue Pack fitted with a GPS collar — in Birdseye's field.
"There's not an official determination (of responsibility), but wolves were there," Stephenson said.
The pack is protected as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. If the investigation concludes that the Rogue Pack was responsible, it would mark the second livestock kill here tied to the pack. Three attacks in 2016 in Klamath County were also within the pack's regular territory.
Stephenson said that "obviously, we're starting to see some issues with them." Federal biologists will continue with nonlethal measures in hopes "to avoid this becoming a chronic situation."
"I think we can keep them out of Ted's pasture with nonlethal measures," Stephenson said.
— Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.