Wolves Kill 120 Sheep and Sheep Dogs
Kathy Konen has lost guard dogs to wolves in the past, but nothing prepared the Dillon rancher for the killing of 120 buck sheep last week. “They were in the sagebrush, on the creek bottom – just all over the pasture,” Konen said Thursday. “It’s a terrible loss to our livestock program.
” Konen said they discovered the attack Aug. 16 while checking their sheep in the Rock Creek drainage of the Blacktail Mountains south of Dillon, where they pasture buck sheep in summer. She said they check their sheep every two or three days, so the attack was recent. She and her husband, Jon, immediately called officials with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, which sent out a federal trapper to investigate the scene.
The trapper found numerous carcasses of sheep that had been killed by wolves, said Carolyn Sime, FWP wolf program coordinator. The total included 82 confirmed kills and 40 carcasses that were classified as probable kills, including some that had been eaten by bears.
The attack occurred on private land the Konens own. It’s not the first attack that the Konens have had this summer. They lost 26 sheep to wolves in the same pasture in July, she said. After that attack, FWP authorized federal trappers to remove three wolves that had been observed in the area.