Contact(s): Bob Nack, Big Game Section Chief, 608-264-6137
MADISON - Following the state's first elk hunting season in history, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced preparations for another hunt this fall. For a chance to participate, interested hunters are encouraged to submit their elk hunting application starting May 1.
"The chance to pursue yet another great big game animal in Wisconsin is very appealing for a lot of hunters, as was clear with almost 38,500 applicants last year," said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist. "It may seem like steep odds to draw a tag, but your chances are just as good as the next person. I encourage everyone to throw their hat in the ring to be one of the lucky people with an opportunity to hunt Wisconsin elk in October."
Last year marked Wisconsin's first managed elk hunt in state history when the DNR set a harvest quota of 10 bulls in the original Clam Lake elk range. Five once-in-a-lifetime elk tags were issued to state hunters resulting in four bulls being harvested in October and November. By treaty, half of the quota is allocated to the Ojibwa tribes who harvested the remaining five bulls.
For this fall, a quota of 10 bull elk was set. For the 2019 hunt, five bull tags are again available to state hunters through the DNR. Four of those will be awarded through the state application and drawing, and the fifth will be awarded through a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation raffle. Hunters may enter both but can only win once. Those interested in entering the RMEF raffle should look for more information on the organization's website. The Ojibwa tribes will again receive an allocation of the remaining five elk.
Elk license applications can be purchased in the DNR Go Wild license system from May 1-31, and only Wisconsin residents may apply. Each potential hunter may apply once online at gowild.wi.gov or by visiting a license agent. The application fee is $10. RMEF raffle tickets are also $10 each, and there is no limit on the number of raffle tickets each individual may purchase. The cost of an elk hunting license for the winners of the license drawing is $49. Seven dollars from each application are earmarked for elk management and research in Wisconsin.
All five state hunters will be notified in early June. Prior to obtaining an elk hunting license, all winners are required to participate in a Wisconsin elk hunter education program offered in early September. The class will cover regulations, hunting techniques and more.
The 2019 hunting season will occur only in the Clam Lake elk range in parts of Sawyer, Bayfield, Ashland, and Price counties in far north-central Wisconsin, where the original restoration effort was initiated with 25 elk from Michigan in 1995.
"A number of potential elk hunters ask if they will be able to find a place to hunt if they draw a tag," Wallenfang said. "With approximately 70 percent of the elk range under public ownership and open to hunting, finding a place to hunt should not be a concern. Despite the somewhat remoteness of the area, there are campgrounds, hotels and restaurants, so everything you need is within easy reach."
Wisconsin's elk hunting season will adhere to the following guidelines:
For more information regarding elk in Wisconsin, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "elk." To receive email updates regarding current translocation efforts, visit dnr.wi.gov and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page titled "subscribe for updates for DNR topics." Then follow the prompts and select the "elk in Wisconsin" and "wildlife projects" distribution lists.