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  • TBO Staff

Wisconsin Approves 2020 Elk Harvest Quota

The Natural Resources Board on Wednesday approved a harvest quota of 10 bulls from the northern elk herd for the 2020 Wisconsin elk hunt, matching the number of tags from the 2019 season. Of the 10 tags, five will be awarded to state hunters, and the Ojibwe tribes will receive an allocation for the remaining five elk in accordance with treaty rights.

Hunters have just a few days left to apply for the opportunity to participate in northern Wisconsin's 2020 elk hunt, the third managed hunt in state history. Wisconsin residents can purchase elk tag applications through May 31 via Go Wild, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources license system. Each potential hunter may apply once online or by visiting a license agent.

The application fee is $10. For each application, $7 is earmarked for elk management and research in Wisconsin. During the first two hunting seasons, applicants generated over $400,000. These funds are being used to enhance elk habitat, which benefits both the northern and central elk herds and many other wildlife species that call the Northwoods home. Funding also contributes to ongoing elk research, monitoring and land access.

More than 60,000 Wisconsinites applied during the first two years of managed elk hunting, and nearly 25,000 have applied so far this year.

One bull tag is being raffled off by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Raffle tickets are also $10 each, and there is no limit on the number of raffle tickets an individual may purchase.

Hunters who draw a tag in the state drawing will be notified in early June. Prior to obtaining the $49 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 2020 hunting season will only occur for only the northern elk herd. Although the state's central elk herd has grown steadily since reintroduction in 2015, it's projected to reach approximately 100 this summer after calving. As such, hunting is not recommended to occur there in 2020.

Wisconsin's elk hunting season will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Season open from Oct. 17 to Nov. 15, 2020, and Dec. 10-18, 2020;

  • Only bull elk may be harvested;

  • Only Wisconsin residents are eligible to receive an elk tag; and

  • An elk tag may be transferred to a Wisconsin resident youth hunter 17 years old or younger or to an eligible Wisconsin resident disabled hunter.

For more information regarding elk in Wisconsin, visit the DNR's elk webpage. To receive email updates regarding current translocation efforts, visit and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page titled "subscribe for updates for DNR topics." Then follow the prompts and select the "elk in Wisconsin" and "wildlife projects" distribution lists.

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