Authorities in Colorado say Derek Wolfe followed all the steps necessary in his hunt of a mountain lion this week ... confirming to TMZ Sports the former NFL player's killing of the animal was legal.
A spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife tells us ... Wolfe did all that was required of him in order to lawfully take down the big cat in Grant earlier this week.
According to the CPW, Wolfe obtained his mountain lion hunting license and is "in good standing" with the org. It also said Wolfe checked all the boxes necessary -- such as properly reporting the kill -- to make it all above board.
Wolfe himself insisted on his "The Drive" podcast that he did nothing wrong ... explaining, as he did in his initial post about the kill, that the male mountain lion was a menace to neighboring communities prior to its death.
"He was hiding under this lady's porch down the road," Wolfe said of what initially made him set out to kill the beast. "She told us, 'Please get rid of him. He killed my dog last year.'"
Wolfe added, "I love hunting deer and elk, and mountain lions kill deer and elk, and mature male mountain lions kill the cubs of female mountain lions to get them to go back into heat."
"I feel like I am doing my part by taking care of some of these Toms. It is not easy."
Wolfe said after an hours-long hunt for the animal, he eventually shot and killed it with a bow and arrow. He said the big cat was massive -- weighing around 200 pounds ... and spanning the entirety of his 6-foot-6 frame.
"That thing can kill anybody," Wolfe said.
The former football player's peers were impressed with his feat ... with former Broncos and Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard saying in the comment section of Wolfe's post, "Bro this is sick as s***!!!!!!"