BUFFALO COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – No charges will be filed after a cougar was shot and killed in western Wisconsin by an archery deer hunter who encountered the cougar and feared for their safety, the DNR confirms.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the incident happened in Buffalo County, and the hunter self-reported it to the DNR’s Violation Hotline on Saturday, November 11.

Officials say an archery deer hunter encountered the cougar while hunting and felt their safety was at risk. The hunter then shot the cougar and self-reported it shortly afterward.

An investigation was conducted by DNR conservation wardens due to cougars being a protected species in Wisconsin. Information about the investigation was provided to the Buffalo County District Attorney, and authorities say that no charges will be filed.

The Wisconsin DNR reports that reports of cougars being spotted have been increasing but are still rare, with an average of 15-20 reports verified by the DNR annually.

The public is asked to report cougar sightings through the DNR’s Wildlife Observation Tool.

No additional information was provided.