Amazing video shows a pack of wolves surrounding hunters in Oregon

Image courtesy of

Did you know that gray wolves (Canis lupis) were once very common in Oregon? In fact, they occupied most of the state. However, due to an effort to eradicate the species in the 1940s, they became less common.

According to an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife report in 2016, the number of wolves in Oregon grew by 36 percent, to 110 individuals. These numbers reflect wolves' continued breeding success in the eight years since they re-established their home in Oregon, after virtually being wiped out in the mid-1900s.

Trouble for wolves began in the year Oregon became a state. In 1843, the first wolf bounty was established and Oregon's first legislative session was called in part to address the "problem of marauding wolves." By 1913, you could collect a $5 state bounty and an Oregon State Game Commission bounty of $20. The last recorded wolf bounty was paid out in 1947.

For over half a century there was an absence of wolves, until they began to take their first tentative steps toward recovery. Said to have dispersed from Idaho, the native species once again were becoming established in the Beaver State. One of the first sightings happened in 1999, when a lone wolf had been captured near the middle fork of the John Day River. The wolf was put in a crate, and was returned to Idaho by government wildlife agents. The next year, 2 wolves were said to be found dead. One of which was hit by a car, and the other illegally shot.

In this amazing video, a man by the name of Steve West and his crew on an Oregon ranch in Lagrande were surrounded by a pack of wolves while taking his 9 year old daughter on her first hunt.

A recent report from The Oregonian discusses how they have rebounded in Oregon, although they are being killed for attacking livestock.

h/t oregonwild


  1. This is just information.
    Here is a factual list of wolf information with links provided at the end for more research and verification.
    *Remember as stated in the ESA Wolf Introduction. These wolves are listed as “nonessential experiment”
    1) The wolves in the western states now are NOT the native Rocky Mountain/Timber wolves. They are the MacKenzie Valley Gray Wolves. A northern Canada/Alaska wolf that is 25% bigger than the native wolves and more aggressive.
    2) These wolves where illegally introduced per ESA guidelines.
    3) There were three confirmed native Timber/Rocky Mountain Wolf packs in Northern Idaho in the 1990’s when these non native wolves where released. Within 6 months the new wolves killed off the last remaining native wolves forever making the Timber wolf extinct.
    4) These wolves will kill an animal and not eat any of it. One wolf will kill and eat about 24 elk a year but they kill and not eat around ten more and harrass many more to the point of exhaustion where they latter die of stress and dehydration.
    5) One of the more “fun” kills these wolves do documented by the USFW is to disable a pregnant cow elk or deer, rip the fetus out and just leave not eating any part of the animals.
    6) Wolves carry the hydatid disease. A tapeworm disease that other wildlife contract if they accidentally inhale wolf scat which is common because animals have there nose to the ground the majority of time.
    This disease was only in Alaska and Northern Canada before these wolves brought it to the lower 48. This is another way wolves are killing wildlife.
    7) Wolves commonly will eat an animal alive. Sometimes they come back to the animal over several days as the animal dies a slow horrible death.
    8) These wolves are not even the slightest endangered. Between the lower 48, Canada and Alaska there are approximately 50,000-60,000 of these wolves. Classifying an animal per zip code or state is not actually even recognized in the ESA.
    9) Wolves also kill bears, Lynx, Beavers, occasional cougar and pretty much anything else they can get a hold of.
    10) The original ESA contract when the wolves where released in the 90’s was that once wolves reached 200 in any western state the wolves could be managed by said state by any legal means to keep the population around 200. Anymore than 200 according to the biologist that studied at that time would be “detrimental to wildlife populations”.
    11) Native Americans hated wolves. They respected them but still hated them. Why? Predators, when left unchecked create the boom/bust cycle of the surrounding wildlife. Wolves, per Native American accounts where always the main reason for the “bust” cycles. This in turn created a shortage of game for Native Americans resulting in starvation, sometimes in the thousands.
    12) “If you kill to many wolves the population will just grow”. That is only partially correct. The fact is, you have kill 80% or more of the wolves in any particular area or zone for the control to be effective. Otherwise the wolves MAY compensate. May not?
    This is the same for coyotes and has been proven many times.
    13) wolves will not stop or help stop the spread of CWD. If you hear that. That is a lie. They will actually help spread it as they travel great distances. See scientific study below about Prions and canines.

    So that is just some of the facts for you.
    There is way more to know so please do some in depth research. As in a few months worth. This should you give you a much better understanding of this nonessential experiment.

    • So much hate… you need a hug and some legit education. Get out in the field. I’ve backpacked among wolves for years upon years. Lived in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. Those wolves/predators keep the system healthy. Ever heard of chronic wasting disease? How about ecosystems? How dare you presume to know Native American ideology. Are you a history professor? I actually feel sorry for you… so misguided, so angry, sitting behind your little screen spewing rage, all because of your own shortcomings and unfounded fear. BTW, those links are not facts! Pick up a book, take a class – get out there and see for yourself!

  2. Way cool experience. Both human and wild predators after the same game. A very similar relationship our Native Americans had prior to white man entering the picture. I applaud the hunters, who have a good understanding of wolves, how they behave and how to take command of the situation if the highly intelligent canines become too curious!!

  3. I produced this film, and I sure as hell didn’t authorize it’s use in an article that is obviously pro wolf… I am not pro wolf… I am pro common sense and it is time some common sense and wildlife science and biologists controlled the situation instead of the people in two counties of our state who let emotion based decision making influence the situation.

    The young girl Emma is my good friend’s daughter, not my daughter… though anyone would be proud to have that young lady as their own. We have way more than 110 wolves in Oregon, probably more like 300-350, and it is not good. They are taking a toll on elk and deer herds wildlife managers have worked hard to establish and maintain. Biologists in eastern Oregon are handcuffed by an ODFW run and led by liberals on the west side and ruled by a governor who is out of touch with the rural region of her state, while pandering to the populous centers of Portland, Salem, and Eugene.

    There needs to be a wolf season with a reasonable harvest quota. That is common sense. We need new leadership of the ODFW Commissioners. People who will let biologists do their jobs and not handcuff them with liberal anti hunter restrictions on doing their jobs. And God willing we will find better leadership for our state that thinks about rural and urban interests alike.

    • Wahhhhhh, here let me buy you a box of tissues. Have you counted all 300+ of them? Can you even count that high? You talk about “anti hunting” liberals. Meanwhile, you just want to hunt them to”control” *cough cough*
      Sport. And don’t try and throw scientific/conservation argument at me. You will lose every time. Rubber bullets and paintball guns work fine for us, they feel the pain once and never come back again. They pass that knowledge down for generations, killing is a temporary fix. Harrasing and hazing is the way to go. Just be honest, you want the deer all for yourself. Humans are apex predators…now.

      • Have you ever had on-hand experience with wolves? I live in Idaho. You will not beat me when it comes to this. You will lose every time. You have no idea. You’re an armchair QB with no real wilderness experience who thinks he knows about nature because he’s read heavily biased articles that fit his ideals.

  4. Also, for those who wished we had started shooting. Its against the law. No matter how much I hate the law, I will abide by it… The wolves that moved in on us that night were looking for the elk that was calling (me) and I can assure you that had there been cattle in that pasture that they were chasing, we would have shot them all… that is within the rights based on Phase 2 (we are now in Phase 3) of the wolf plan. And moving forward we will be riding shotgun on the cattle on those private lands, staying within the law and the wolf plan, and eliminate problem wolves.
    One of the cattle grazers on the ranch left this year and will not be back. They couldn’t find two cows and six calves, a big financial loss. No carcasses were recovered so they cannot prove wolf loss and apply for any of the meager funds they might have been able to qualify for… but in all the years of running cattle up there we never lost any cattle until the wolves showed up on the landscape.
    We will be protecting the cattle moving forward, voraciously, much like all of our neighbors will… and since wolves are very smart I am going to assume that once the shooting starts they will move some place they belong… deep inside of a wilderness area. Away from roads, away from people, and private lands where cattle are grazing.
    Note: those wolves in the video were only a few miles from La Grande, Oregon. On three occasions we have observed them on the hill above town. I have seen them on the ranch more than two dozen times. They have little to no respect or fear of man. They have moved to within close proximity of the town and they are deep inside cattle country. If people want wolves in our state they need to agree to a hunting season with a quota. Wolves are very smart and hard to hunt. There will be some shot but the vast majority will escape into the back country and thrive there. And if we will have wolves in Oregon, that is where they belong.

    • Thank you Steve West for commenting on this. Since I have watch some of your videos in the past I would not think you where “pro wolf”.
      Although someone watching the video linked with this article almost makes it look like you guys are very glad the wolves are around.
      Common sense management like you said is the right thing to do. Unfortunately I do not think that will happen in Oregon especially with corrupt groups like Oregon Wild constantly pushing the pro wolf propaganda.
      As you can see you can’t even make a video talking about the experience of seeing some wolves without Oregon Wild and the Oregonian corrupting it.
      I hope the hunt went great for the young lady. Its great she has someone like you and her family teaching her about hunting.
      Good luck on future hunts.

      • The wolves are pushing the mountain lions off of kill sites and taking up their territory – thus the lions are now getting close to town and in town. Not a problem for “portlandites” yet… ask ODFW biologists

      • What a load of ignorant comments. Mountain lions kill wolves and wolves kill lions all the time.
        If lethal bullets don’t work then tell us, how has a hunting and trapping season in Montana and Idaho led to wolf depredations decreasing to around 30% of what they were before hunting season started?

          • I like the way California handles meat eating animals. You can’t hunt them, you can’t kill them or even harass them. Now for the good size, the same yuppies that made the laws go apeshit when those same protected animals get their dinners off biking and jogging trails. Those taken probably voted to protect all of those carnivores just didn’t think of themselves and dinner.
            I wouldn’t shoot a wolf or lion because the are part of the yuppie reduction system.

          • Same thing here in Blaine Idaho County Steve. When any large carnivore comes into these leftist strongholds, the home of the Western Watersheds Propaganda clique, these people dial 9/11.. Equates to dead large carnivore every time.. last month, three cougars, dead.. One cougar was eating a domestic dog on the back porch.. One cougar was simply lost and trapped within the airport here, no time to capture and relocate they blew it away..

          • Not everyone that lives in the backcountry agrees with you. In fact, I’d wager you are the minority. Ranchers are well known for having very little education. And, experience? Shooting a gun and hunting… give me a break. Get off your ass and go backpack the real out of doors instead of riding around on your ATV guzzling beer. You think more like someone with a mind of metal from the city.

          • Pro wolf-management people are correctly defined as “true conservationists.” A conservationist is someone, by definition, “who advocates or acts for the protection and preservation of the environment and all wildlife.” Including protecting wildlife species positive population growth from being placed in negative growth population collapse by other wildlife, in this case non managed wolves pushing elk herds into negative herd collapse.. Which then causes an increase in large carnivore versus peoples property conflicts which is a huge negative for large carnivore non management gurus…

          • How much are you willing to wager? I don’t ride ATVs, banned them from our mountain property as they impacted wildlife behavior. And I don’t drink. I hike more than you could ever dream. And my knowledge of wildlife and wildlife management is beyond your comprehension. I have hiked and backpacked through hundreds of miles of Oregon, Washington, Alaska, British Columbia, The Yukon, NWT, the arctic of Nunavut/NWT/Nunavik, Newfoundland, and pretty much all of the western states. Want to keep comparing notes?

    • Holy crap! You are not the first rancher to have to deal with wolves. Yet, you are approaching the situation with an archaic knowledge base. Look to the states that are effectively dealing with wolves. Frickin dogs kill more cattle than wolves!! Domestic dogs!! That’s a TINY SAMPLE of how far your logic is off. Are you gonna start killing dogs now if they get near your cattle, which, BTW obliterate the land in which they graze. You are not a steward of the environment, but a destroyer. Real men learn before they shoot.

      • Does 57% of the dogs in Oregon kill cattle? The 2016 Oregon annual wolf report states that 57% of Oregon’s wolf packs killed livestock.
        Problem is no one has a problem with ranchers shooting any and every dog chasing cattle

    • How about some factual content from Oregon’s 2016 annual report.
      57% of Oregon’s wolf packs killed livestock
      71% of those depredations occurred on private land.
      Over 50% of Oregon’s wolves live on Private land.
      You have no idea what the problem is or how to solve the problem. How about you keep your wolves off private lands.

        • Another mindless comment. Ranchers have been grazing these lands for well over 100 years, yet every year the grass grows and the streams flow. You would think after 100 years it would be destroyed.
          Wildlife biologist all across the world use cattle to benefit wildlife ecosystems even the beloved Aldo Leopold taught of using the cow to benefit ecosystems.

        • Moving on with the stupid comments of the day.
          Ranchers are allowed to shoot any dog chasing cattle.
          The percentage of the population of wolves killing cattle in states with delisted populations of wolves ranges between 15 and 100 percent of the wolves known to be living in that state. Wolves are more likely to kill livestock than any other predator science proven fact. Look up the :Relative risk of predation on livestock posed by individual wolves” and quit sounding like a dumb wolf lover.

          • And wolves do not tolerate packs of domestic dogs gone wild, lone domestic dogs hunting their turf, coyotes and foxes.. I always laugh at the dogs did it lies..

  5. Our forefathers tried to get rid of them for a reason what do you think it was killing game for the fun of it not eating it just leaving it laying killing livestock? What do you think the reason was? It doesn’t take a genius should be thinned out before there gets to be too many of them.