Wolf depredations at former Democratic State Sen. John Peavey’s Flat Top Ranch is making news again in the Wood River Valley.
The Mountain Express reported the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and USDA Wildlife Services confirmed that 18 lambs and 13 ewes were killed by wolves on public land in the Carey area. It the same area that Peavey lost sheep a year ago and the debate is turning hit again.
Other ranchers in the area have had success reducing wolf depredations using non-lethal methods of wolf control including guard dogs and brightly colored flags known as fladry, project partners have been able to keep livestock losses down. But Peavey doesn’t lamb his sheep in lambing sheds earlier in the season like most Idaho sheep men do.
Instead he uses range lambing, where the ewes give birth later on the open range. He has dogs and herders but no fladry.
Wolf advocates say range lambing in wolf country invites depredation. Peavy defends it, saying its cheaper than paying the high price of hay, though I haven’t been able to get him on the phone.
So Wildlife Services has flown over the area twice looking for wolves to kill without success. So far this year depredations statewide are down said Todd Grimm, Wildlife Services Idaho State Director. But lately in has picked up with depredations in Leadore and the Pahsimeroi Valley.
Overall wolf depredations are down Grimm said, because of hunting.