A Baker City man was hunting coyotes when he accidentally shot an Oregon wolf which had dispersed to new territory.
The wolf was part of the Umatilla River pack, and was not supposed to be where Brennon Witty was pursuing coyotes. But as wolves are wont to do, this one covered a large amount of ground and found its way to a new area.
Witty immediately notified officials from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, who came and recovered the carcass or OR-22, a collared Oregon wolf.
Harney County prosecutors have charged Witty with taking the life of a threatened or endangered species, as well as hunting with a centerfire rifle without a big game tag. Each charge carries a maximum of one year in jail and/or a $6,250 fine.
So, let me get this straight. Several Rocky Mountain states have been reintroducing wolves, which are reproducing like crazy and spreading into new territory at alarming rates. Most of these states also allow hunting for coyotes at night. Yet a coyote hunter, in an area not known to harbor wolves, accidentally shoots one and gets arrested?
Well, that doesn’t sound completely fair.