DARBY - The last two of four Divide Creek pack wolves believed to be involved in recent livestock depredations on the CB Ranch in the Sapphire Mountains east of Darby were killed by federal Wildlife Services agents during a helicopter hunt on Thursday, according to cattle manager Jeff Snavely.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials had issued a kill permit for up to four wolves from the pack several weeks ago after the death of a calf on the ranch was determined to have been caused by wolves.
"They removed two wolves today, so we are done with that control action," said FWP wolf management specialist Liz Bradley. "They removed an adult male and a yearling male today, and also radio-collared another yearling male near the ranch. We authorized the removal of four wolves from the pack, so we are done for now unless there are any further problems."
Bradley couldn't give specific details on how the wolves were killed, other than to say it was by federal Wildlife Service agents from a helicopter.
Earlier this month, government trappers caught two other wolves in the pack, one of which was wearing a radio collar, and euthanized them.
Snavely said the CB Ranch, which is owned by former Intel Corp. CEO Craig Barrett, paid for the helicopter operation.
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"We footed the bill for them to fly to fill our wolf quota," he said.
On the west side of U.S. Highway 93, government agents aren't having as much luck catching wolves from the Trapper Peak pack that have been connected to the death of a horse on Two Feathers Ranch, about 1.5 miles south of Darby.
Five permits were issued to the landowner there, but only one wolf has been caught. Montana FWP Warden Lou Royce said he believes only two wolves from the Trapper Peak pack are still alive from the group related to the death of the horse.
Reach reporter David Erickson at 363-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.