PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A hunter is under investigation by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife after he allegedly killed a wolf in self-defense while elk hunting in northern Malheur County on Nov. 2.

ODFW officials said that man was hunting on U.S. Forest Service land near Seneca when he encountered the wolf and shot it dead from 18 yards away. The man reported the shooting to the ODFW, which dispatched Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers and an ODFW biologist to the scene.

“The preliminary investigation revealed the elk hunter was tracking elk on a ridge when a wolf came out from the timber in front of him,” the ODFW said. “The hunter stated he yelled at the wolf and waved his arms in an effort to scare the wolf away. The wolf then reportedly looked at the hunter from a distance of approximately 30 yards and started coming directly toward the hunter. The hunter stated he feared for his safety and fired one round, striking the wolf and killing it instantly.”

After killing the wolf, the hunter told wildlife officials that a second wolf emerged from the woods. The man allegedly fired a single round into the air and the second wolf ran away. 

Investigators will file their report with the Grant County District Attorney’s Office for review. A preliminary investigation states that the hunter acted reasonably by shooting the wolf as an act of personal safety. The man was also credited for following state guidelines by informing officials of the shooting immediately after it occurred.