Four Wisconsin hunters drawn for state’s third managed elk hunt
Following a three-month application period, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources randomly drew four lucky Wisconsin residents who will have the opportunity to participate in the 2020 elk hunting season.
Just shy of 28,000 Wisconsin residents entered the drawing for one of four once-in-a-lifetime elk tags. The winners are from Appleton, Junction City, Marengo and McFarland.
“One of the more enjoyable tasks I have all year is calling the elk tag winners,” said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist. “They are always super excited and usually say something like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding!’ This year it just so happened to be one winner’s birthday, and it took a few minutes to convince him that I wasn’t one of his buddies playing a joke on him.”
In May, the Natural Resources Board approved a harvest quota of 10 bulls from the northern elk herd for the 2020 Wisconsin elk hunt, matching the number of tags from the 2019 season. Of the 10 tags, five will be awarded to state hunters, and the Ojibwe tribes will receive an allocation for the remaining five elk in accordance with their treaty rights within the Ceded Territory.
The fifth elk hunting license will be awarded through a raffle conducted by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Raffle tickets may be purchased on the RMEF website, rmef.org, and the winner will be drawn at the state banquet in Wausau on July 25.
Application numbers increased by more than 4,000 compared to 2019. For each $10 application fee, $7 is earmarked for elk management, habitat and research in Wisconsin. Almost $11,000 in donations was also received thanks to the generous contributions of many applicants.
“Last year’s hunters collected some very nice bulls and great stories of the hunt, so we’re looking forward to continued success within the elk program that provides more hunting and elk viewing opportunities in the future,” Wallenfang said.
The 2020 elk hunting season will occur only in Wisconsin’s northern elk range in parts of Ashland, Bayfi eld, Price, Rusk and Sawyer counties, where the first restoration effort was initiated with 25 elk from Michigan in 1995. The northern elk herd is projected to be approximately 300 animals this year.
Although the state’s central elk herd is projected to be approaching 100 elk this summer after calving, hunting is not recommended to occur there in 2020.
For more information regarding elk in Wisconsin, visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/elk. html. 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.