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Cover of Spring 2019 issue

Spring 2019
Volume 43, Number 1

Contact information
For information on the magazine's webpage, contact:
Kathryn Kahler
Associate editor

A message from
DNR Secretary Dan Meyer

Portrait of DNR Secretary Dan Meyer  © Ben Pierson

Welcome to the Fall edition of our Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. After Labor Day, we start turning the page on summer. The fun we had swimming and boating starts to become a memory rather than reality. But the coming of fall, with the clear, crisp air and the burst of autumn colors, reignites our senses for the outdoor experiences to come.

Wisconsin has more than 17 million acres of forestlands that can make quite a colorful statement come September and October. Our scenic state parks, recreation areas, trails and forests are great places to go for fall colors. We hope you can get out to see the show.

Autumn also means hunting seasons are not far behind. In fact, bear and early teal seasons are already underway. Archery and crossbow deer seasons open Sept. 15. Gun deer season runs Nov. 17-25. Dates for other hunting seasons such as waterfowl, small game, pheasants and other game birds are found on the DNR website. Licenses and necessary authorizations, permits and stamps can be purchased online at GoWild.

Whether you are a seasoned veteran hunter or a first-timer, now is the time to start looking ahead and getting geared up for another great season. As we shift to deer season, be sure to check out Wild Wisconsin – our web and podcast series – for the helpful information you will need. You can find it all at Wild Wisconsin.

There is one new hunting season this year that has the Department of Natural Resources rightfully excited and proud of what has become an important conservation success story for the state: Elk.

When elk were first reintroduced to the state of Wisconsin in 1995, hunting was a "maybe someday" idea. Early management plans for the Clam Lake herd in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest foresaw limited public hunting of bull elk when the overall population reached a certain limit.

Now, that "someday" is here. After more than two decades of dedicated herd management and continued reintroduction efforts, this fall will bring the first managed elk hunt in state history.

The agency's role in bringing elk back to northern Wisconsin has been significant. Through the work of DNR and partner organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and too many dedicated individuals to name here, the Clam Lake elk herd surpassed 200 animals this year – the required number to initiate a hunt.

This historic hunt will take place Oct. 13-Nov. 11 and Dec. 13-21 in the Clam Lake range. Elk also have been reintroduced more recently in the Black River State Forest, but that herd is not yet part of the managed hunt plans.

Four bull-only elk tags were issued by DNR in June through a random drawing open to Wisconsin residents. Interest was exceptional, with more than 38,000 hunters applying for the drawing. Revenue generated by the $10 application fee will support further elk herd and habitat management.

An additional elk tag was awarded to a Wisconsin hunter as part of a fund-raising raffle by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and five more tags are being made available to Wisconsin's Chippewa tribes – bringing a total of 10 bull-only elk tags for year one. As the herds continue to grow from year to year, the number of available tags should increase.

Summer activities may be just memories now but there are exciting times and experiences to be had during the fall whether you're hunting or hiking. Good luck and enjoy a safe fall season.

Last revised: Monday September 17 2018