MADISON, Wis. (AP) — There will be no change in the number of elk that hunters can kill in Wisconsin this year, after the state Department of Natural Resources Board on Wednesday voted to keep the limit at 10.
The board voted 5-2 to set the limit at the same as it was the last two seasons, going against the recommendation from DNR Big Game Ecologist Kevin Wallenfang that the harvest be limited this year to six bulls.
The DNR has received more than 16,000 applications for a 2020 elk permit. The department selects permit winners through a lottery.
The DNR has been working to repopulate the state with elk for years. The department has established two herds, one in northern Wisconsin and another in central Wisconsin.
The northern herd is much larger than the central herd, and it’s projected to grow to 300 animals this year. The central herd is expected to grow to about 100 animals.
Board members, in voicing support for not reducing the number of elk to be hunted, said they were confident that the growth of the herd could sustain a limit of 10.
State hunters are allowed to take five elk and Chippewa tribal hunters were allowed to take five, according to treaty rights.