WDFW has placed trail cameras in an area of central Stevens County where two weeks ago or so, free-roaming canids confronted kenneled dogs.
A landowner who lives in the Sprouty Loop Road area east of Colville feels the animals challenging his were wolves.
State spokeswoman Madonna Luers confirms wolves are one possibility, as are coyotes, feral dogs — like two killed in earlier this summer elsewhere in the county — and wolf-dog hybrids.
“We’re looking into it and taking it seriously, but we don’t have anything definitive to say, ‘It was wolves,’” she says.
The episode came to light after a local hunting outfitter posted information online last week.
The location is roughly 4 miles east of Colville on Highway 20. The nearest known pack, the Smackout wolves, are 20 air miles away, a distance which is nothing for a roaming wolf.
A biologist and enforcement officer interviewed the landowner then placed remote photographic equipment nearby in case anything came back.
As for those two marauding animals killed in June, one looked enough like a wolf or hybrid that WDFW considered sending hair samples to a California lab, but ultimately did not.
“We ended up not sending in a sample because everyone was sure they were dogs,” says Luers. “It’s several hundred dollars to run a DNA analysis. It was determined not to bother.”
Free-roaming dogs have been a problem in Stevens County for awhile.