After successfully reintroducing elk to the state 23 years ago, Wisconsin is set to hold its first regulated hunt in state history. The limited opportunity hunt will take place this fall and is highly regulated—only 10 licenses will issued. Five of those harvest tags will be given to the WI Chippewa tribes, four given out through lottery (WI residents only), and one will be raffled off by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Originally native to Wisconsin, elk were wiped out in the 1800s due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss. But after the release of 25 Michigan elk in 1995, the herd is thriving and population levels are expected to reach over 200 animals this year. Wisconsin currently has two primary elk herds, one near Clam Lake and one by Black River Falls.
The inaugural hunt will take place in Northern Wisconsin near Clam Lake and is scheduled for 10/13-11/11 and 12/13-12/21. Applications will be available starting May 1st through the GO Wild System and will cost $10.
If you’re lucky enough to draw a tag, the license will cost $49 and you will be required to complete an elk hunting education course. Revenue from the application process will go back into the system to support elk research, monitoring, and habitat management.
“The hunt is an indication the herd is doing well,” said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist. “It can safely absorb the harvest of 10 bulls, you bet.”