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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Weekly Digest Bulletin

Four Wisconsin Hunters Drawn For State’s Third Managed Elk Hunt


Wisconsin will hold its third managed elk season this fall / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR.

MADISON, Wis. – Following a three-month application period, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources randomly drew four lucky Wisconsin residents who will have the opportunity to participate in the 2020 elk hunting season.

Just shy of 28,000 Wisconsin residents entered the drawing for one of four once-in-a-lifetime elk tags. The winners are from the cities of Appleton, Junction City, Marengo and McFarland.

"One of the more enjoyable tasks I have all year is calling the elk tag winners," said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist. "They are always super excited and usually say something like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’ This year it just so happened to be one winner’s birthday, and it took a few minutes to convince him that I wasn’t one of his buddies playing a joke on him.”

In May, the Natural Resources Board 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 their treaty rights within the Ceded Territory.

The fifth elk hunting license will be awarded through a raffle conducted by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Raffle tickets may be purchased on the RMEF website, and the winner will be drawn at their state banquet in Wausau on July 25.

Application numbers increased by more than 4,000 compared to 2019. For each $10 application fee, $7 is earmarked for elk management, habitat and research in Wisconsin. Almost $11,000 in donations were also received thanks to the generous contributions of many applicants.

"Last year's hunters collected some very nice bulls and great stories of the hunt, so we're looking forward to continued success within the elk program that provides more hunting and elk viewing opportunities in the future," said Wallenfang.

The 2020 elk hunting season will occur only in Wisconsin’s northern elk range in parts of Ashland, Bayfield, Price, Rusk and Sawyer counties, where the first restoration effort was initiated with 25 elk from Michigan in 1995. The northern elk herd is projected to be approximately 300 animals this year.

Although the state’s central elk herd is projected to be approaching 100 elk this summer after calving, hunting is not recommended to occur there in 2020.

For more information regarding elk in Wisconsin, visit the DNR elk webpage here. 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.

NEWS RELEASE: Call For Entries To Wisconsin’s Wild Turkey, Pheasant And Waterfowl Stamp Design Competitions
DNR News Release Header Image

Contact: Alaina Gerrits, DNR assistant upland wildlife ecologist &
wildlife stamp coordinator
608-513-6739 or

Call For Entries To Wisconsin’s Wild Turkey, Pheasant And Waterfowl Stamp Design Competitions

Wisconsin Artists Encouraged To Submit Original Artwork By July 15


Winning artwork for the 2019 pheasant stamp by Brian Kuether. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR.

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin artists have until July 15 to submit artwork for the 2021 Wild Turkey, Pheasant and Waterfowl Stamp design contests. Entries must be received or postmarked by July 15, 2020, and judging will take place in a closed session on July 30.

For many years, the DNR's wild turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl stamp programs have been providing opportunities for wildlife and habitat management. Turkey, pheasant and waterfowl hunters are required to purchase a species-specific stamp to legally harvest these game birds in Wisconsin. Sales of these three stamps bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually that fund habitat enhancement, restoration, education and research projects.

"This is a unique opportunity for Wisconsin artists to showcase their artwork statewide while promoting wildlife conservation,” said Alaina Gerrits, assistant upland ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The winners for the 2019 contests were Robert Metropulos for waterfowl and Brian Kuether for both wild turkey and pheasant.

For rules, entry information, and reproduction rights agreements, visit the DNR website here. All stamp contest applicants should review contest rules carefully to ensure the eligibility of their entries. Artwork must meet technical requirements in order to be properly processed and prepared for judging.

NEW RELEASE: Find Outdoor Inspiration In Summer Issue Of Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine
DNR News Release Header Image

Contact: Andrea Zani, Managing Editor, Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine 608-267-9517 or
Kathy Kahler, Associate Editor, Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine 608-266-2625 or 

Find Outdoor Inspiration In Summer Issue Of
Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine


Summer 2020 WNR

State parks such as Kohler-Andrae offer room to roam in Wisconsin's great outdoors./Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – Celebrate the beauty and benefits of time spent outdoors with the summer issue of the DNR's Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. The ability to enjoy all that Wisconsin offers has never been more important to the health of body and mind, as the magazine's cover story notes

Having fresh, clean air to breathe is vital to outdoor enjoyment, and the magazine's "Change In The Air" story presents an in-depth look at the federal Clean Air Act. The landmark legislation, marking its 50th anniversary, has made an immense difference in ensuring top air quality around the state.

Invasive species are the subject of another story that's timely for Invasive Species Action Month in June. Learn how waterfowl hunters and local volunteers are joining the fight against invasive species, how Pittman-Robertson Act excise funds aid efforts and how the public can help by reporting nine particularly damaging invasive species.

"Just The Kind Of Place To Cherish" offers information on the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund, a public-private endowment overseen by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. The fund supports habitat maintenance on state-managed public lands, including the Lawrence Creek State Natural Area, highlighted in the magazine story.

Also, in this issue, a special insert offers information on staying safe in the outdoors and avoiding tick bites and Lyme disease, complete with prevention tips and a pull-out "Tick Safety Guide."

Regular features in the summer issue include:

  • "Your Outdoors," about a family of backyard owls;
  • an "Outside In Wisconsin" look at the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest;
  • "Back In The Day," reprinting a 1942 piece about vacation anxiety in wartime; and
  • "Taste Of Wisconsin" with culinary expert Kyle Cherek, recounting the joys of fishing and offering his recipe for delicious grilled trout.

DNR Secretary Preston D. Cole shares his message with readers, urging everyone to get outdoors and recreate safely. "Taking a walk, bike ride or hike helps us to think quietly, walk softly and create memories," he reminds us.

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine is published four times a year and is available via subscription for $8.97. Call 1-800-678-9472, or find stories and subscribe online at

NEWS RELEASE: Northern Zone Smallmouth Bass Season Opens June 20
DNR News Release Header Image

Contact: Craig Roberts, DNR Fisheries Biologist
715-635-4095 or

Northern Zone Smallmouth Bass

Season Opens June 20


Smallmouth bass season opens on June 20. Wisconsin DNR

SPOONER, Wis. – With waters warming up, smallmouth bass season will open beginning on June 20 for the northern management zone.

While smallmouth bass season is currently open in southern Wisconsin, anglers will now have the opportunity to harvest them from these additional waters:

  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters;
  • Northern management zone;
  • Tributaries to Lake Michigan – north of Hwy 29 in Door and Kewaunee counties; and
  • Lake Superior – including Kakagon River and Slough.

Smallmouth bass harvest season varies by location. Anglers should consult the 2020-2021 Hook and Line Fishing Regulations for daily bag and size limits and season durations. All regulations and license requirements apply.

“The beginning of smallmouth bass season offers another great angling option in northern Wisconsin,” said Craig Roberts, a fisheries biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “Smallmouth bass are known for their tenacity and being both aggressive and hard fighters. They will bite all summer long in both lakes and rivers and offer great fishing for the whole family.”

Anglers may purchase a license online through the GoWild system or at certain essential businesses. Please visit the fishing license webpage for more information.

Insight into local smallmouth bass fishing locations can be found in the 2020-2021 Wisconsin Fishing Report. A list of quality bass waters is available on the DNR’s fisheries webpage.

The DNR encourages anglers to continue to fish close to home, practice safe social distancing and adhere to Gov. Evers' Badger Bounce Back Plan.

For specific information regarding COVID-19, we encourage the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or @dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information is available on the CDC website.

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