Oregon Governor Kate Brown is reported as “confident” in investigators’ work looking into an elk hunter’s killing of a wolf in Union County.
The late October shooting was determined to be self-defense, according to the Oregon State Police, and the Capital Press says that the governor “will apparently not ask state agencies” to reopen the case after a dozen and a half advocacy groups had petitioned her to.
Brown responded in a Dec. 1 letter, which is just coming to light today. The Press reports she consulted with OSP, ODFW and county prosecutors before making her decision.
Wolf advocates had pointed to the trajectory of a bullet through the animal as suggesting it wasn’t self-defense.
The hunter, Brian Scott, 38, said he’d had three wolves in his vicinity that morning in the Starkey Wildlife Management Unit.
One “meant to make contact,” he told Oregonian reporter Bill Monroe in an in-person interview. “I was terrified. I screamed and raised my rifle. All I saw (in a scope) was hair so I shot.”
After confirming the animal was a wolf with his hunting partners, Scott immediately contacted OSP and ODFW officials, who responded to the scene with investigative equipment.
The Press reports that advocates “will continue to put pressure on the governor and agencies regarding wolf poaching investigations, and ensure those protections are taken seriously.”
There have been a number of illegal wolf kills in Oregon (as well as Washington), but this doesn’t appear to be one, if Governor Brown’s letter is any indication.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this blog misstated when the wolf was shot; it was in late October (Oct. 27), not mid-November. Our apologies for the error.