Your local archery store in Central Point, OR wishes to remind you to be mindful of protected wolves when hunting in the southern part of the state. In 2012, a male gray wolf left his pack, crossed Oregon—making him the first confirmed wolf in the area since 1947—and, upon entering neighboring California, became the first known wild wolf in that state since 1924. He is called Journey, as well as “OR-7,” because he was the seventh wolf tagged with a GPS location-tracking collar in Oregon.
Since then, the gray wolf OR-7 has returned to Oregon, paired up with a female wolf, and fathered two pups. Known now as the Rogue Pack, officially designated due to their location within the Rogue River catchment area, the pack exemplifies the story of wolves in the 21st century returning to their historic rangelands.
Getting to know the gray wolf
A few fun facts about gray wolves: the canis lupus, the gray wolf, is the largest of the canines – two to three times the size of a coyote. Wolves have excellent hearing and a keen sense of smell. They hunt and socialize in family groups known as packs.
Sprawl and development typically result in the loss of habitat for wolves and their prey, but overall, the greatest threat to wolves is people’s fear and misunderstanding about them. Wolves are very wary of humans and do not pose a significant risk to human safety. As a top carnivore, the gray wolves, along with other predators such as bears and cougars, control prey populations so that a landscape may support a healthy ecosystem. The future of the gray wolf in Oregon will, in large part, be determined by future legislation and public awareness.
Why are gray wolves protected?
Oregon’s once-decimated gray wolf population has rebounded to nearly 100 animals, and the wolves are now pairing off and breeding across a wide region. Gray wolves were native to Oregon but wiped out in the state by an eradication campaign in the early 20th century. Some people have hailed their return. In fact, a documentary following OR-7 received international attention.
Others are less enthused about the return, particularly farmers who consider wolves a threat to livestock populations. Importantly, gray wolves are a species currently protected by the state’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) making it illegal to hunt or kill them.
Hunting of all sorts is very popular throughout the state of Oregon, especially in the southern region. While all hunters need to be aware of ESA protected wildlife, your local archery store in Central Point, OR wants bow hunting enthusiasts to be especially careful of gray wolves in the region. Any type of hunting with a bow and arrow requires a certain level of expertise. From safety practices using a bow to thoroughly understanding which animals can be hunted during specific seasons, important responsibilities come along with bow hunting. A great idea if you are not familiar with hunting laws and regulations in your area is to talk to the professionals at your local archery store in Central Point, OR, who can provide answers to your questions as well as tips for successful hunting in the area.