The application period for the 2024 elk hunting season is now open. / Photo Credit: Jeff Morden

Applications for Wisconsin elk season open now through May 31

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the application period for the 2024 elk hunt is now open through May 31. New this year, the Black River Elk Range will be open to hunting for the first time since elk were reintroduced to the state.

Once widespread, elk were eliminated from Wisconsin in the 1880s due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss.

Reintroduction efforts began in 1995 by releasing 25 elk into the Clam Lake Elk Range, and a second herd was established in the Black River Elk Range in 2015. The state elk population is projected to reach over 500 animals after this year’s calving season, 180 of which belong to the Black River Herd.

Due to this new opportunity, applicants are required to select between the Black River Elk Range or Clam Lake Elk Range when applying.

Wisconsin residents can purchase an elk license application online through the Go Wild license portal or in person at a license sales agent. The application fee is $10 and is limited to one per person. The DNR recommends that all applicants check and update their contact information to ensure contact with successful applicants.

For each application fee, $7 applies directly to elk management, monitoring and research. These funds are also used to enhance elk habitat, which benefits elk and other wildlife.

If selected in the drawing, an elk hunting license costs $49. Winners will be notified by early June. Wisconsin residents can only draw an elk tag once in their lifetime.

Before obtaining an elk hunting license, all winners must participate in a Wisconsin elk hunter education course. The class covers Wisconsin elk history, hunting regulations, biology, behavior and scouting/hunting techniques.

This year’s elk quotas for the Black River and Clam Lake Elk Ranges will be presented to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board as an informational item later this spring.

For more information on the elk hunt, visit the DNR Elk Hunting webpage.

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