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Last chance to apply for random elk hunt drawing in Wisconsin



Today is the last day to apply for, quite literally, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Wisconsin DNR is accepting applications through today for the first-ever managed elk hunt in the state this fall.

Efforts to reintroduce elk in Wisconsin started more than 20 years ago. That original herd of 25 has grown to the point now, where a very limited hunt will be held this fall in northern Wisconsin.

Only five, bull-only tags will be awarded on a random basis to Wisconsin residents.

“It’s a very limited hunt,” DNR deer and elk ecologist Kevin Wallenfang said. “You can’t just start throwing a whole bunch of tags out there and take away all the work you spent so many years doing to increase that population.”

If you win, it’s the one and only elk tag you will be eligible for in your lifetime. To apply, go to the DNR website here.

The DNR hopes to expand hunting in the future. The agency predicts continued slow but steady growth in elk numbers.

Two herds are currently wandering the forests in Wisconsin. The original herd that started with reintroduction efforts in 1995 is around Clam Lake in the northern part of the state. It’s also where this year’s hunt is. Another herd has been building steadily in Jackson County. 

“We’re excited about it,” Wallenfang said. “We are glad that our elk population has finally reached a level where we can offer a very limited hunt and we look forward to more of them in the future.”

Elk there have surpassed 200. Wallenfang says he can’t predict when numbers in the Jackson County herd will get big enough to also stage a hunt.

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