Wolf kills sheep dog in Boise Foothills, wildlife officials say

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Wildlife officials say a wolf has killed a border collie in the Boise foothills earlier this month.

The Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission says Wilder sheep rancher Frank Shirts lost his dog Teson May 8 to a wolf.

"I thought people would like to know," Shirts said.

Todd Grimm, state director of USDA Wildlife Services, says officials were able to confirm the death by wolf kill after skinning the dog where they found trauma and teeth marks.

Wildlife Services have been looking for wolves in the area with a helicopter, but have yet to find the wolf.

Shirts said his herders have been hearing several wolves howling at night, and then the wolves try to come into the band of sheep in the early-morning hours.

His herders have been firing off rounds with their rifles to try to keep the wolves at bay. Shirts also has two Great Pyrenees guard dogs to protect the sheep.

This year's wolf kill is the first his herders have seen in the Boise Foothills since 2010, when Wildlife Services confirmed that at least two wolves were responsible for killing 11 sheep -- eight lambs and three ewes -- in upper Hulls Gulch. Shirts has lost several guard dogs and herding dogs to wolves over the year as well.

The sheep are moving toward Bogus Basin at the present time. By about June 10, the sheep will be moving deeper into the inland on the Boise National Forest toward Idaho City via Warm Springs Ridge.