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Wisconsin 2020 Elk Hunt Application Deadline May 31

A bull elk in northern Wisconsin - Photo credit: Jeff Mulden
A bull elk in northern WisconsinPhoto credit: Jeff Morlden

Contact(s): Kevin Wallenfang, DNR Deer and Elk Ecologist
608-261-7589 or Kevin.Wallenfang@wisconsin.gov
May 11, 2020 at 2:50:48 pm

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin hunters have until May 31 to apply for a chance to participate in northern Wisconsin's 2020 elk hunt. This fall marks the third official elk hunt in state history.

Once widespread across North America, elk were eliminated from Wisconsin in the 1880s. Thanks to the support of many partners and the backing of Wisconsinites, the herd is back. Elk hunting season is open Oct. 17 - Nov. 15, 2020 and Dec. 10-18, 2020. Only Wisconsin residents are eligible to receive an elk tag.

Wisconsin residents can submit elk tag applications through the Department of Natural Resources' Go Wild license system. Each potential hunter may apply once online or by visiting a license agent. The application fee is $10. In addition, one bull tag is raffled off by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Raffle tickets are also $10 each, and there is no limit on the number of raffle tickets a hunter may purchase. An elk hunting license is $49 for those who draw a tag.

"More than 60,000 Wisconsinites applied during the first two years of managed elk hunting, and we're looking forward to another great hunt in 2020," said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist. "You never know, you just might be the next lucky hunter out there."

For each application, $7 goes to elk management and research in Wisconsin. During the first two hunting seasons, applicants generated over $400,000. These funds are already being used to enhance elk habitat, which benefits the elk herd and many other wildlife species that call the Northwoods home. Funding also contributes to ongoing elk research and monitoring.


Hunters who draw a tag will be notified in early June. Prior to obtaining the $49 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 2020 hunting season is only available for the northern elk herd. Although the state's central elk herd has grown steadily since reintroduction in 2015 and is projected to reach approximately 100 elk this summer after calving, hunting is not recommended for the central herd in 2020.

Wisconsin's elk hunting season will adhere to the following guidelines:

For more information regarding elk in Wisconsin, visit the DNR's elk webpage or by searching the DNR website using keyword "elk." To receive email updates on 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.

Last Revised: Monday, May 11, 2020

Contact information

Need an expert? Contact the Office of Communications.

The Office of Communications connects journalists with DNR experts on a wide range of topics. For the fastest response, please email DNRPress@Wisconsin.gov and the first available Communications Specialist will respond to you.

For more information about news and media, contact:
Sarah Hoye
Director Of Communications
Office Of The Secretary