‘Some (Wolf) Activity’ In Umatilla Co., ODFW Official Says

Umatilla County stretches well into the Blue Mountains near where Oregon’s Wenaha Pack resides, but members of it or other groups of wolves could be moving out of the timber into more open areas this winter.

Or maybe it’s just coyotes.

A driver photographed three apparent canids off Highway 11 between Pendleton and Milton-Freewater last weekend. A video he took shows dark shapes at some distance moving across a snow-covered field.

A number of wolf reports have come from the area recently.

“We know there’s some activity in Umatilla County,” Russ Morgan, ODFW’s wolf coordinator, told the East Oregonian. “We’re trying to get a handle on it, trying to determine how many and where they all are. It’s unreasonable to think there aren’t any wolves in Umatilla County.”

The paper reports that other reports have come from the Indian Lake as well as Starkey areas too.

Earlier this year, the Wenaha Pack numbered six individuals. The Imnaha Pack had “15 or 16” members, a December aerial survey found.

In 2009, reports came from much further west, Crater Lake, Sisters and Santiam Pass.

In other, possibly related, Oregon wildlife news, the Argus Observer today reports more than 100 antelope have gathered in the lowlands on either side of I-84 just north of Ontario “after heavy snows have forced them closer to town seeking food for survival.” Locals are being asked to restrain their dogs after at least two pronghorns were killed.

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