DNR urges hunters to watch for elk and moose, keeping non-target animals safe

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A moose in the wild

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Hunters are urged to watch out for elk or moose while they are in the woods for deer season Nov. 21 – 29.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to take an extra second to be sure of their target before they shoot this season.

In a release, elk were once widespread across North America but were killed off in the 1880s. However, with the support of many partners and the backing of Wisconsinites, the herd is back.

“A few young bulls have stretched their legs in search of cows during the mating season which may place them in areas that surprise hunters. In general, elk are larger than deer, have tall, sweeping antlers, darker necks, and lack the characteristic tail colors and appearance observed on white-tails,” says Bob Nack, DNR Big Game Section Chief.

After reintroduction efforts, the DNR says elk are now in two distinct regions of the state. The northern region includes Ashland, Bayfield, Price, Rusk, and Sawyer counties, and the central region consists of the area surrounding Jackson County.

Between the two herds, the DNR believes there are nearly 400 elk roaming Wisconsin. However, individual elk are spreading out throughout the state.

The DNR urges people to learn the difference between elk and whitetail deer with their comparison guide.

The DNR says there have been several verified moose sightings across northern Wisconsin each year. They believe a few hunters might be lucky enough to see some this fall.

Positively identifying the target ensures the safety of other people and avoids the accidental shooting of non-target animals. The DNR reminds hunters to brush up and follow all firearms safety measures.

DNR staff say hunters should also keep COVID-19 safety measures in mind when out in the field.

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