No charges to be filed against hunter who shot cougar in Buffalo County

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 12:09 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 4:32 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is announcing that a cougar was shot and killed Buffalo County.

The incident was reported to the DNR’s Violation Hotline on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, according to a press release from the DNR. According to the press release, the incident involved an archery deer hunter who encountered the cougar while hunting and felt their safety was at risk. The hunter shot the cougar and self-reported it to the DNR.

The press release says no charges will be filed.Cougars are a protected species in Wisconsin, so DNR conservation wardens conducted a thorough investigation into the shooting and provided the information to the Buffalo County District Attorney.

In the last 20 years, observations of cougars have been increasing but are still rare, with an average of 15-20 reports verified by the DNR annually. All evidence to date suggests that most, if not all, of these observations are of dispersing individuals from established populations out west. Dispersing cougars also do not tend to stay in one location for long and have been recorded traveling up to 1,600 miles.