The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be taking elk hunting applications beginning May 1.
Last year marked Wisconsin's first managed elk hunt in state history. The DNR set a harvest quota of 10 bulls in the original Clam Lake elk range and had almost 38,500 applicants. Five once-in-a-lifetime elk tags were issued to state hunters resulting in four bulls being harvested in October and November. By treaty, half of the quota is allocated to the Ojibwa tribes who harvested the remaining five bulls.
For this fall, a quota of 10 bull elk was set. Five bull tags are again available to state hunters through the DNR for the 2019 hunt. Four of those will be awarded through the state application and drawing, and the fifth will be awarded through a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation raffle. Hunters may enter both but can only win once. Those interested in entering the raffle should look for more information on the organization's website. The Ojibwa tribes will again receive an allocation of the remaining five elk.
Elk license applications can be purchased in the DNR Go Wild license system from May 1-31, and only Wisconsin residents may apply. Each potential hunter may apply once online at gowild.wi.gov or by visiting a license agent. The application fee is $10. RMEF raffle tickets are also $10 each, and there is no limit on the number of raffle tickets each individual may purchase. The cost of an elk hunting license for the winners of the license drawing is $49. Seven dollars from each application are earmarked for elk management and research in Wisconsin.
All five state hunters will be notified in early June. Prior to obtaining an elk hunting license, all winners are required to participate in a Wisconsin elk hunter education program offered in early September. The class will cover regulations, hunting techniques and more.
The 2019 hunting season will occur only in the Clam Lake elk range in parts of Sawyer, Bayfield, Ashland and Price counties in far-north-central Wisconsin, where the original restoration effort was initiated with 25 elk from Michigan in 1995.
The elk season will be open from Oct. 12 to Nov. 10 and Dec. 12-20. Search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "elk" for more information.