|This photograph shows the proximity that these wolf pups were to our barn and corrals.|
That they were not being problematic at that point, did of course, not mean that they would not become problematic over time. With higher food needs for the growing pups, the wolves could easily switch from wild game to domestic livestock. We knew we had to encourage these wolves to move off the ranch and back into the bush before fall came around, as one normally see’s an increase in depredation of livestock in fall.
The adult members of this pack were very human shy and we could only catch a glimpse of them occasionally. We never caught any adults on the game cameras and from tracks it appeared that there were only two adults with the pups. It appeared to be the mother of the pups and possibly another sub adult. The pups however, were not very shy and would often run to the edge of the bush while we were working and then slowly come out and watch us. They would lay in the field and only move away if they felt really threatened. We certainly did not want them to habituate to our presence and felt that it would be best to ensure they remind fearful and wary around people.
We certainly did consider letting the livestock guardian dogs into the area where the wolves were denning, however after some careful consideration we decided it would be better to increase the number of dogs in with the livestock. With pups, the wolves would be highly defensive and territorial of this area. Letting the LGD into that area would likely result in confrontations, which could mean seriously injured or even dead dogs. Having several dogs injured or lost would then mean that the livestock would be less protected and therefore more open to predation.