When a wolf depredation happens ranchers get so frustrated that they may just want to kill the wolves doing the damage to their animals. But Wallowa County Chief Deputy Fred Steen says non-lethal methods have to be tried first: “There has to be some sort of evidence that the producer has attempted, once they know there’s a problem, attempted to mitigate wolves hanging around their livestock.”
Some of those methods according to Steen include guard dogs, checking your herds more frequently and flagging. That’s where flags are put up around an area to try and keep the wolves away from the livestock. One myth going around is that wolves kill just to kill, something Deputy Steen disagrees with: “I don’t think they kill just to kill. My opinion is that they’re killing because they’re hungry, or they may be killing things to train their pups.”
Steen added that the wolf population in the area seems to be on the rise.