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Update:  Wolves at the rafter spear May-21- May-23

 

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The last few days the wolf story has slowed down a lot but the aftermath is still ongoing.  After trapping the male, the female took off and is about 6  miles to the SW at last flight on Thursday.  There are traps everywhere in preparation for her return.  Nick Smith and Dan Stark have a permit to shoot her. 
 
I told John Oakleaf outright I would kill her myself if we had to deal with what we went through on Tuesday again so they tried to get us a kill permit too so we couldn't be charged with anything but....  That, of course did not fly since they say there is still not 6 successful breeding pairs out there, it would have to be published in the federal register.  I'd rather they did the wet work but will still commit to do it is circumstances present themselves again.  Hope someone is putting together a legal fund just in case.  I hope they can just trap her, it is almost funny how mad they were when denied their ice cream.   Almost.
 
My problem is, this animal has a history here and has absolutely no fear it has menaced my daughter and followed my husband, who is not menace but the principal remains.  Together they killed and ate two calves before we knew they were here.  Though my last report says everything was fine Tuesday morning, It wasn't.  We have found two bitten calves and have shaved measured and taken pictures. 
One has more bites, on the flanks, side and head but they are superficial, the calf is in quite a bit of distress from bruising but hopefully will be fine. I imagine the times when Dan heard the cows get up and shined the spotlight on them and saw the wolf, he stopped the attacks.   The next day there was a calf with a swollen front knee in the same bunch, after shaving we found wolf bites on the front and back legs.  The knee is hot and three times bigger than the other, the wound on it is superficial but the trauma caused the swelling and this calf may be ruined.   Both calves were in the bunch Dan guarded Tuesday night.  If he hadn't been there would probably be 4 missing calves and four tight bagged cows.  I am glad he got to experience the mayhem one pair of wolves can attempt to wreak in just 12 hours.  He looks awful but that is his job. 
 
On a side note there is another injury from a calf caught in a trap this morning, nobody is to blame for that,  We are grateful to have the traps out, but still, another injury. 
 
There was a small bunch of 11 cows and calves that were harassed by the pair, not including the two that lost the calves. 
 
Of those 11, two had prior coyote wounds and were healthy but not totally healed up.  It is noteworthy to say that the wolves singled out sound, healthy, approximately three week old calves and left the injured ones alone. 
 
Of those 11 calves, there are now 5 injuries.  Two happened up to 5 weeks ago in a different pasture and weren't related to the wolves arrival.   The missing calves were 2 days and 1 week old the two youngest calves in herd so far.  
 
 They were in the canyon the wolves first showed up in.  We last saw the week old calf the day before we left for Safford and we saw the new born only once before it disappeared Sunday night or Monday, it did seem to be healthy though.
 
I has been some week I have a dramatic picture for every day of the week .  Yesterday the FS backburned from behind my house and it was pretty scary kind of like a volcano going off on your back door.  The results should be good though.  We had good representation from our government yesterday though.  FWS, FS RITF and APHIS all on the porch at once.  If we can find a piece of the space shuttle maybe NASA will come pay us a visit.  
 
  
Laura Schneberger