Don’t forget the boredom factor
In response to Wally Sykes’ Sept. 13 letter to the editor, I wonder what has he been smoking? To claim that wolves cannot and would not be “habituated” to eating cows is ludicrous.
Why is it so unreasonable to think wolves would go after an easy meal of beef first rather than chase deer and elk for many miles up and down canyons before satisfying their own hunger.
Many wild animals become “habituated” when it comes to hunger. Why is it time after time we hear or read about trapping and relocating bears that do nothing but raid garbage cans for their dinner because it is easier for them to obtain a meal rather than roaming the woods and eating berries and insects?
When it comes to wolves, killing livestock doesn’t always boil down to a hunger problem. Sometimes, it’s a boredom problem. It seems the wolves kill for “sport.”
An examples of this is the killing of 10 sheep and injuring three Great Pyrenee guard dogs (one dog was never found) on two consecutive nights in September 2014 around Mt. Emily in Umatilla County.
No sheep were eaten by the wolves.
Another example of this behavior, which occurred closer to home on Crow Creek Road, is where the wolves got into a pasture of more than 100 head of bred heifer cattle at night, breaking the cattle into three herds and running them for miles across the Zumwalt prairie.
The loss to the rancher wasn’t immediate, but when the heifers started birthing, more than 25 calves died because they were upside down, backwards or breached. Several heifers ended up with prolapsed uteruses that renderer them useless for future breeding. This rancher didn’t receive a dime in reimbursement for that incident.
Maybe the writer should think about lending a hand in the livestock vs. wolf problem rather than complain about how the cattlemen operate their businesses. Maybe he should saddle a horse and follow the wolf packs to make certain the wolf maintains a deer and elk diet.
If riding a horse doesn’t fit his lifestyle, cash is another alternative. He stated, “Most Oregonians want wolves in the state and are willing to pay for it.” What’s in your wallet?