A news story making the rounds that claims the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is trying to change the rules in an attempt to hold an elk hunt sooner rather than later is simply not true, according to wildlife officials.
Here’s the explanation from Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist.
“Currently, Wisconsin Administrative Rule dictates that no elk hunt could take place until our northern herd is at least 200 animals and the new Black River herd is at least 150. When the hunt would occur, this same rule requires that we issue a number of tags equal to 5 percent of the total population. What our proposed rule change would do is remove those arbitrary requirements and allow us to gauge the herds “readiness” for a hunt based on science (herd make-up, distribution, etc.) rather than on an arbitrary minimum herd size. The rule proposal also allows us to eliminate what is likely to be an annual argument of just how many permits should be issued based on a population estimate. Tag issuance would be based on what the science is telling us the herd could support over the long term.”
The bottom line is no hunt is being proposed right now, nor does this rule necessarily accelerate the opportunity for a hunt.
(Photo source: USDA)