Dayton Chronicle - Your Hometown News Source

Wolf sighted near golf course

 

January 9, 2020

-Submitted photo

A grey wolf, like this one, has been spotted in the vicinity of the Touchet Valley Golf Course by local residents. Wolves are noted for their rounded ears and distinctive shape and area residents should be watchful if walking on the Touchet River levee.

DAYTON–Residents should be aware of a daylight sighting of a grey wolf in the vicinity of the golf course recently.

Golf course neighbors Paul and Marcene Hendrickson report having sighted a grey wolf on the Touchet River levee about two weeks ago. Paul Hendrickson said it was a large wolf, approximately equal in size to a deer, and it had a streak of color down its back. They have observed its tracks around the area.

"It might be good to alert the rest of the neighborhood that there's a wolf nearby," Paul Hendrickson said.

Last weekend, Marcene Hendrickson noticed copious amounts of deer hair in the vicinity of their mail box, and that the mailbox was slightly askew. Paul followed the trail of deer hair, eventually happening upon the deer's entrails, coagulated blood, stomach and finally, the head and shoulders of the animal with the meat eaten away, in their pasture. The hindquarters, Paul said, were nowhere in sight.

Tuesday morning, the couple went walking on the Touchet River dike and there discovered additional pieces of the deer. "Whatever killed the deer Sunday night," Paul Hendrickson said, "came back again on Monday night and cleaned up the rest of it."

He contacted and sent photos to a game agent, and learned that the characteristics of the killed deer is consistent with a wolf kill. A cougar kill was not ruled out, however, cougars have a tendency to cover a kill to return to at a later time, Paul Hendrickson said.

He said people should be aware of the possibility of an encounter with the animal as wolves tend to follow trails in a cyclical routine repeated approximately every four or five days. "People need to be aware they're traveling up and down dike, for their pets and for themselves," Paul Hendrickson said.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is monitoring four packs in the Blue Mountains, Touchet, Butte Creek, Tucannon and Grouse Flats.

-Submitted photo

The Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington are home to four distinct wolf packs.

- The Butte Creek wolf pack was confirmed as a pack in 2018. According to the annual population survey completed on Dec. 31, 2018, the pack had a minimum count of two wolves and was not considered a successful breeding pair in 2018.

- The Grouse Flats wolf pack was confirmed as a pack in 2017. According to the annual population survey completed on Dec. 31, 2018, the pack had a minimum count of eight wolves and was considered a successful breeding pair in 2018.

- The Touchet wolf pack was confirmed as a pack in 2016. According to the annual population survey completed on Dec. 31, 2018, the pack had a minimum count of four wolves and was considered a successful breeding pair in 2018.

- The Tucannon wolf pack was confirmed as a pack in 2013. According to the annual population survey completed on Dec. 31, 2018, the pack had a minimum count of two wolves and was not considered a successful breeding pair in 2018.

 
 

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