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DNR Says Elk Population Still Growing in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/28/2013

State wildlife officials and several key partners have determined that the elk herd in Wisconsin has not grown to a sufficient size yet to support a hunt this year. The Department of Natural Resources recently hired a deer and elk research scientist, who provided a full analysis of 18 years of elk information. The agency says the herd is growing since its reintroduction, but must still postpone a special elk hunt until the population is greater.

"There are many positive and exciting things happening in the elk program that we believe will help the herd continue to increase," said Kevin Wallenfang, big game ecologist who heads up the elk management program for the DNR. "The long-term success of the herd is the priority. But we realize this decision will be a disappointment for those hopeful that this would be the year for the first hunt."

According to state law, a Wisconsin elk hunt may not take place until the population surpasses 200 animals. Located near Clam Lake in Ashland County, the herd has seen moderate growth since the release of 25 elk in 1995.

As part of a recently revised elk management plan, the Natural Resources Board approved recommendations to bring additional wild animals into Wisconsin from a willing donor state. Those plans received strong public support and, if they come to fruition will help accelerate herd growth, spread animals across a wider area of their range, and start a second herd in Jackson County near Black River Falls.

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