Read & React: Wolves Kill 176 Sheep; Largest Attack in Idaho History

Think reintroduced wolves aren't causing a big problem for ranchers and farmers? Think again.

Siddoway Ranch in southeastern Idaho is reeling after 176 sheep were killed Saturday after being chased by two wolves, according to KTVB in Boise, Idaho.

In what's being called a "freak incident" by wildlife officials, a flock of 2,400 sheep — most of them lambs — was grazing on public land in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest when they were pursued by two wolves. Most of the sheep had been trampled or asphyxiated, huddling together in a large mass near a rocky ridge line. Fewer than 10 sheep were bitten, and one was partially consumed.

Wildlife officials say it is the largest loss by wolves in state history.

According to Todd Grimm, director of Wildlife Services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Boise, attacks like this are uncommon, as wolf packs tend to scatter sheep, not concentrate them.

"I would consider this a freak incident," Grimm told KTVB. "We have had some pile ups from time to time, and most of those are because of black bears, and even [mountain] lions."

Whether it's common or not, it's bad news for the Siddoway family.

"My husband and I have been fighting this whole issue our entire lives," Cindy Siddoway, whose family owns the ranch, said. "We're putting out thousands of animals that are just sitting ducks."

The Siddoways own over 19,000 sheep, and each animal is valued at $200 a head, according to USDA loss compensation. Total damage for the Siddoways would then amount to about $35,000. Unfortunately for the ranchers, it doesn't just stop at sheep — the family has also lost a few Great Pyrenees guard dogs and a horse to wolf attacks in the last few months.

Perhaps worst of all is that the Siddoways may not be compensated. KTVB reported no herder has been compensated through Idaho's compensation program in the last two years. Though the money is available, lately it has been tied up in sequesters.

Along with the mounting financial losses, the Siddoways will be forced to deal with the wolves by themselves.

Of course, this isn't the first time wolves have caused problems. Last October, we received a series of graphic photos after a wolf pack had killed a hunting dog in Wisconsin. Wolves aren't the only ones wreaking havoc either, as canine cousins like coyotes and wild dogs have been reported decimating deer populations and livestock. Wolf hunting has also created quite a stir, with opposition going so far as to send death threats to hunters who take wolves.

Recommended for You


Steiner Predator AF Binoculars: Quality at the Right Price

Joe Arterburn - May 28, 2019

Sponsored By

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.


The Ticks Making Hunters Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 12: High Plains Elk

David Draper teams up with Fred Eichler to hunt elk on the high plains of southern Colorado.

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 9: Aloha Axis Deer

Host Mike Schoby joins his buddies Jon Dubin and Jeff Johnston on the island of Lanai for a deer hunt Hawaiian style!

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

North America

Best States To Hunt For Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt - July 13, 2017

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great...


Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...


17 Dream Jobs in the Outdoor Industry

Kali Parmley - June 14, 2016

Combining a career with your passions is a goal that is strived for, but not often achieved....

See More Stories

More News


Trump Puts Predator Control Back In Hands of the States

PH Online Editors - August 31, 2017

Who gets to manage wildlife on national wildlife refuges? Thanks to House Joint Resolution 69,...


The Hunter Decline and How We Can Fix It

Andrew McKean - August 20, 2018

We've lost 2.2 million hunters since 2011. Here's how to help save hunting. Photo Credit:...


Which Presidential Candidate Will Look out for Hunters?

David Hart - October 10, 2016

It's not just hunting season. It's also election season. This year's race not only will set...

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.