A ruffed grouse hunter killed a wolf that he said chased his hunting dog near Park Rapids, Minn.

"The dog ran back to the hunter with the wolf on its heels," reported state conservation officer Sam Hunter, who said the hunter used a shotgun loaded with birdshot to kill the wolf last week. "The hunter shot the wolf at about eight yards as it was coming directly at him and his dog."

Although the state's first wolf hunting season doesn't begin until Nov. 3, people are allowed to kill wolves to protect themselves or if the wolf poses an "immediate threat" to pets or livestock.

The hunter notified the Department of Natural Resources of the incident and will not be cited.

"It was a frightening experience during a grouse hunting trip that will not soon be forgotten," Hunter reported.

Such close encounters with wolves in Minnesota are rare. Last year, livestock or pet owners legally killed 12 wolves.

Under the planned wolf hunting-trapping seasons, up to 400 wolves could be killed.

The first season coincides with the firearm deer season, both of which begin Nov. 3. A second wolf hunting and trapping season opens Nov. 24. Six thousand licenses will be issued.

However, it's uncertain whether the controversial hunt will occur. A lawsuit was filed last month seeking to stop it.