In December 2017, an Oregon State Police and Wildlife trooper discovered a wolf carcass near Elgin, Oregon. The wolf was found near a trap line. Upon closer examination, the wolf appeared to have been shot after getting caught in a foothold trap.
During a necropsy, a small caliber bullet was recovered from the wolf’s spine.
The traps were not branded or marked with information about the trapper, something that’s required by law.
Police developed a suspect and determined the trapper was 58-year-old David M. Sanders Jr. He was ordered to appear in court to face charges of unlawful taking of wildlife and utilizing unbranded traps in connection with the unlawful taking of wildlife, both misdemeanors.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the wolf was a 63.5-pound female juvenile born in April 2017. They believe it was the offspring of a pair of wolves in the Mt. Emily Wildlife Management Unit, but they are waiting for DNA results to confirm.