Susewind authorizes elimination of Togo pack, culling of Smackout

Aaron Andrews

The state now has three Northeast Washington wolfpacks in its gunsights.
State Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind authorized the elimination of the Togo pack and the culling two Smackout pack wolves today, Nov. 7.
The new orders follow a kill-order issued last month for the remaining wolves in the Profanity Peak area.
The department confirmed today the Smackout Pack has preyed on cows five times since Aug. 20, injuring one calf and killing four heifers. In accordance to the Wolf Management Plan, Susewind authorized "incremental removal."
Hunting methods may include "shooting from a helicopter, trapping, and shooting from the ground," according to the department.
The Smackout depredations affected two ranchers, both of whom had employed at least two non-lethal deterrence methods, the agency said.
As for the Togo pack, Susewind authorized the removal of the remaining three wolves after confirming six depredations in the last 10 months, and eight in the last year.
The last two depredations happened after the department culled one male wolf.
"Susewind re-authorized lethal removal of the remaining wolves in the pack because the latest depredation is an indication that the pack behavior of preying on livestock has not changed," the news release said.
Instead of using department staff to hunt the Togo pack, Susewind issued a permit to the affected rancher to allow him, his family or his employees to hunt the wolves on his private pasture.
The name of the rancher was not released.
Susewind issued the permit because of the department's limited resources.
"The department is set to have three concurrent lethal removal operations underway in the OPT, Smackout, and Togo packs," the department said.
On Oct. 26, Susewind issued a kill order for the remaining wolves in a new pack, dubbed the Old Profanity Territory pack.
That pack is responsible for more depredations, officials said.
Read the full story in the Nov. 14 edition of the Statesman-Examiner.