Wisconsin to bring back elk hunt after more than 100 years - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wisconsin to bring back elk hunt after more than 100 years

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) -- After more than 22 years of introducing and reproducing elks into Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources will be hosting its first elk hunt in the fall of 2018.

"I guess what makes it so special is we are trying to put the piece of web of life back together here in the North Woods," said Mic Isham of Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife.

According to the D-N-R, the last elk shot in Wisconsin was in late 1800s. However, there were attempts to reintroduce the bull back into Wisconsin but those all failed.

"There was a failed attempt to reintroduce them in the 1930s, but they mostly think it disappeared from poaching and illegal hunting," said Tim Ginnet, a wild life professor at UW-Stevens Point.

Elks were then brought back to Wisconsin in 1995.

"We brought in 25 elks from the state of Michigan, and they were kept in an acclamation pen to get used to our environment and they were released in 1995," said Ginnet. "That population has grown to 200 animals after the calves are born in May."

Ginnet said there is an important reason why it has taken two decades for residents to be able to hunt again.

"We brought in 25 animals initially and that is too small of a population to hunt sustainability. We are trying to get about 200 animals before we institute a hunt," said Ginnet.

Under the new restrictions, only males elk (bulls) will be hunted in order to prevent another wipe out.

The D-N-R said the elk that will be hunted are the ones who have been born or bred in Wisconsin.

For residents that want to shoot an elk you must apply, and from there you will be put into a lottery system.

Only 10 tags will be issued for the 2018 fall hunt and five of those will go to Chippewa Tribe.

The funds from the application fees will go towards maintaining Elk habitat in North Wisconsin.

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