Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wolf depredation is not easily solved

I just read a letter to the editor from Lynne Stone (May 30) telling ranchers they are just going to have to learn to live with the introduced wolves. She contends that the sheep are left alone and that the dead are left where killed as an invitation for any passing wolf to please come kill more.

There is no question that ranchers have done a poor job of relating to the public in general about wolf predation and all of the related anxiety and expenses involved. Flat Top lambed in California for years but the feed and transportation costs have made that no longer feasible. They are trying to range lamb now. We shed lamb as Ms. Stone suggested and we still suffer between $30,000-$50,000 losses every year to wolves. Many are unverified simply because time destroys the evidence.

Every sheep rancher has guard dogs. The guard dogs are the first things the wolves kill. We have lost about 18 Pyrenees in the last three years. Our herders sleep right next to the sheep at night in teepees. The wolves usually kill between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Even in the daytime it is seldom that the herder can see more than 100 sheep at any given time because of the vegetation or terrain.

Jeff Siddoway

Terreton, Idaho

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