DNR plans for elk hunting to expand

As Action 2 News reported last week, the first elk hunt in Wisconsin history takes place this fall.

Cropped Photo: WPBN / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

And elk hunting opportunities should expand in the years to come.

The call of an elk is a mystical sound Chris McCool of Howard knows well having hunted elk out west.

"To hear them bugle and the passion behind that, and they're so large, but the meat is fantastic as well."

Which is why in May, McCool plans to apply for a Wisconsin elk tag, despite long odds of getting one.

"Yeah, very interested in that," he said.

"You probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than you would getting an elk tag," Eric Joppe from Oconto Falls remarked.

Twenty-two years after their reintroduction in the Clam Lake area, more than 200 elk now make up the state's northern herd.

"It's a major milestone in conservation in Wisconsin," DNR wildlife biologist Jeff Pritzl said.

Just 10 tags will be issued for the four-week inaugural hunt which begins October 13. Six go to Chippewa tribes.

Pritzl says the number of lucky hunters drawn will increase in the years to come.

"A population will kind of break over a threshold where the growth will start to become exponential, and then there will be this more rapid growth period between now and whenever they hit that carrying capacity on the landscape."

Pritzl says the DNR's management goal is 1,500 elk in the Clam Lake herd.

"Coolest experience you could have as a sportsman, getting to hunt one of the larger game animals here on the continent here in your home state," Joppe said.

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