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Biologists Spend Nights Hazing Oregon Wolves To Deter Livestock Kills


Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife district biologist Tom Collom uses an antenna and radio to try and get a signal from wolf OR-54, part of the Rogue Pack, while camped northwest of Fort Klamath. 

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife district biologist Tom Collom uses an antenna and radio to try and get a signal from wolf OR-54, part of the Rogue Pack, while camped northwest of Fort Klamath. 

Lee Juillerat/Mail Tribune

Blaring sounds from a car horn rattle the nighttime calm. Beacons of light sporadically sweep across otherwise invisible fields. A bonfire, large enough to roast 1,000 marshmallows, throws flames into the blackness.

Every 20 or 30 minutes, Tom Collom pulls what looks like an old-fashioned television antenna and radio from his pickup, then slowly revolves it toward the forests flanking the eastern edge of the Sky Lakes Wilderness. He’s listening for a beeping sound from the VHF collar placed Oct. 7 on a 2-year-old female wolf dubbed OR-54.

It’s Friday the 13th, but this is no horror flick.

Collom, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife district biologist, spent Friday and Saturday nights camped in a large field northwest of Fort Klamath, emerging periodically from his woodstove-heated tent into subfreezing temperatures to listen for the telltale beep. Occasionally he would honk the pickup’s horn, scan the strobe light and feed the fire. A lantern was kept on all night to illuminate the tent, another way of broadcasting a human presence.

Read the whole story at the Mail Tribune.

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