Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

September 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Gray wolf killed during big game hunt in Okanogan County

PHUONG LE
Associated Press

Federal wildlife agents are investigating the death of an endangered gray wolf in Okanogan County in north-central Washington state.

The adult female wolf was shot and killed during a big game hunt in the area, Doug Zimmer, a spokesman with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, said Monday. Hunters were in the field hunting elk or deer in the Pasayten Wilderness and reported to state wildlife officials on Sept. 20 that they had shot and killed a wolf.

It’s not legal to hunt wolves in Washington state. Gray wolves are federally protected as endangered in the western two-thirds of Washington.

Zimmer said federal wildlife officers are working with state officials to determine whether the shooting was a legitimate accident or whether the wolf was killed under other circumstances, such as self-defense or in defense of others. It would be up to federal prosecutors to decide whether to prosecute.

The wolf that was killed was not collared and it’s unclear whether she belonged to a known pack, he said.

A spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife referred questions about the wolf to the federal agency. A state wildlife report notes that officials “have not previously verified wolf activity in this portion of the wilderness area and don’t know if the animal is part of an active pack or a solo wanderer.”

Wolves have been a controversial topic ever since the predators returned to the state much faster than expected in recent years. In 2008, there were only a handful of wolves. As of March, there is an estimated 50 to 100 animals in 10 confirmed packs, all in central and eastern Washington.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has proposed lifting most remaining federal protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, including Washington and Oregon. Three public hearings are scheduled across the country this week to discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal.

0 Comments | More in Environment, General news, The Blotter | Topics: gray wolf, hunt, killed

COMMENTS

READER NOTE: Our commenting system has changed. Find out more.

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►