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Record 12,970 permits awarded for 2018 black bear hunt
MADISON - Notifications have been sent to 12,970 hunters who successfully drew a black bear permit for the 2018 hunting season.
All hunters who applied for a harvest permit can check their status online at Successful applicants should have received a postcard in the mail.
A record 12,970 permits were issued for the 2018 bear hunting season.
Photo credit: Catherine Khalar
"Bear hunting has become an extremely popular outdoor activity in Wisconsin," noted Scott Walter, DNR large carnivore specialist. "For the 2018 season, we had over 124,000 individuals apply for either a harvest permit or preference point."
This year's harvest quota of 4,550 was approved by the Natural Resources Board at its January 2018 meeting. The quota was set with the intention of reducing the population in northwest Wisconsin and stabilizing the population in the rest of the state. While the 2018 quota is slightly lower than the 5,000 permits awarded in 2017, permit levels were corrected for recent trends in hunter success and thus increased compared to the number available in 2017.
The season structure for this year's bear hunt is as follows:
Zone C (dogs not permitted):
Sept. 5 to Oct. 9 - with aid of bait and all other legal methods not using dogs.
All other zones (use of dogs permitted):
Sept. 5-11 - with aid of bait and other legal methods not using dogs;
Sept. 12 to Oct. 2 - with aid of bait, dogs, and all other legal methods; and
Oct. 3-9 - with aid of dogs only (bait may be used to locate bear to hunt with the aid of dogs).
For more information, search the DNR website,, for keyword "bear."
A record 12,970 permits were issued for the 2018 bear hunting season. Photo credit: Catherine Khalar
All hands are on deck this Fourth-of-July weekend to stop aquatic invasive species in Wisconsin
Thousands of Wisconsinites and visitors will take to the water this Fourth-of-July for the state’s busiest boating holiday. During the tenth annual Landing Blitz, June 29th – July 4th, many boaters will be greeted at landings and access points by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff, volunteers and regional Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) partners sharing a simple but powerful message: YOU can protect lakes and rivers from aquatic invasive species.
The Landing Blitz is a statewide effort to remind boaters and users of all other watercraft that they can take actions to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, which pose great risks to the health of our lakes and fisheries. 
“Wisconsin is blessed with an abundance of water resources for outdoor sports and recreation. It’s one of the top reasons Wisconsin is the premier travel destination for fun in the Midwest,” said Stephanie Klett, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. “We appreciate the commitment of our visitors and residents to help protect our lakes, rivers and streams from aquatic invasive species and preserve our water resources for generations to come.”
Volunteers, AIS partners and DNR boat inspectors will be on hand at landings around the state to demonstrate the prevention steps and answer questions about invasive species. Their efforts will build on the success of last year’s campaign, when volunteers inspected over 14,000 boats and spoke with over 32,000 people. 
“One of the most exciting things about this campaign is the strong volunteer effort. Every year hundreds of concerned citizens participate as volunteers to help us raise awareness and empower boaters,” says Bob Wakeman, Statewide AIS Coordinator.
For those who use social media, they can help spread the word about the importance of aquatic invasive species prevention by posting photos and messages using #CleanBoatsCleanWaters.
Invasive plants and animals, like Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny water fleas and zebra mussels, can spread easily by hitching a ride on boats and other equipment, including trailers, anchors, livewells, buckets and bilges. Because many invasive species can also be hidden in mud, it’s vital to clean off anchors. But boaters can also easily prevent this by taking the following simple steps before they leave a boat landing:
Inspect your boat, trailer and equipment for attached aquatic plants or animals
Remove all attached plants or animals 
Drain all water from boats, motors, livewells and other equipment 
Never move live fish away from a waterbody 
Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash 
Buy minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer
Only use leftover minnows when either 1) fishing with them on the same body of water or 2) on other waters if no lake/river water or other fish have been added to the container.
Following these steps also helps boaters comply with Wisconsin state law, which prohibits the transport of aquatic invasive species.
To learn more about invasive species and their impacts to Wisconsin’s waters and economy, visit and search “Invasive Species.” 
June 21, 2018
Following more than 22 years of elk management and reintroduction efforts, 2018 will mark Wisconsin's first managed elk hunt in state history.
"After all these years, still doing a great job!!" 
-Ron Hermanson
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Or call 715-485-3121

Four lucky Wisconsin residents will participate in the first managed elk hunting season in state history following random drawing
By Central Office June 13, 2018
Contact(s): Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist, 608-261-7589

MADISON - Following a 30-day application period and a great deal of anticipation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff conducted the random drawing for four lucky residents who will participate in the first managed elk hunting season in state history.

"This is an historic time for the department and I would like to sincerely thank all those who applied for an elk license," said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist. "It was a privilege to call all the winners and personally congratulate them - each one recognizes that this will be a unique and exciting experience."

Over 38,000 Wisconsin residents entered the drawing for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - four hunters were selected to receive a license for Wisconsin's inaugural elk hunt. Successful applicants were from Merrill, Kenosha, Appleton and Green Bay. In addition to license fees, over $13,000 in donations was received to benefit elk management in Wisconsin.

An additional license will be awarded through a raffle conducted by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The raffle winner will be drawn Aug. 11, and tickets can be purchased on their website [EXIT DNR]. All Wisconsin residents may enter the raffle, including hunters that applied in the state drawing. Raffle tickets may be purchased for $10 each; the same cost as the state application fee.

Proceeds from elk license applications and the RMEF drawing are earmarked for elk management in Wisconsin.

"Offering this hunt has taken Wisconsin's elk management program to a whole new level," said Wallenfang. "There has been high interest and excitement since we announce the hunt, and it has brought a level of awareness to a lot of people who didn't even know that we have elk in our state. It's an important opportunity to inform and build advocacy for our elk reintroduction effort, while providing a limited, but exciting, recreational opportunity. We anticipate more tags in the future as the herds grow."

The 2018 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 herd is projected to comfortably surpass 200 animals this year.

Prior to purchasing an elk hunting license, all winners will be required to attend a Wisconsin elk hunter orientation offered prior to the hunt. The class will cover a hunting area overview, field sampling and health testing, regulations and more.

"The hunt will occur after the rut and the area is dense forest with openings, so it won't be easy," said Wallenfang. "But we estimate about 70 adult bulls in the Clam Lake herd, so it will be a hunt to remember for those lucky winners."

For more information regarding elk in Wisconsin, go to and search keyword "elk." 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.
June 21, 2018