Oregon hunter fatally shoots wolf; claims self-defense

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an elk hunter alerted the agency that he killed a wolf in self-defense, after initially believing he shot a coyote.

Capt. Bill Fugate said Thursday that the Union County district attorney accepted the hunter’s explanation and will not be prosecuted. In Oregon, it’s illegal to kill a wolf for sport.

The hunter reported the shooting Oct. 27 in northeastern Oregon. According to Fugate, the hunter said he was alone when the animal charged, forcing him to shoot. Later, he realized he killed a wolf.

Fugate says investigators determined the wolf was 27 yards away when the hunter fired.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the shooting marks the first time a wolf has been shot in self-defense since the animals started returning to the state in the late 1990s.

The wolf was an 83-pound female.