Strong partnerships shine in third year of elk translocation efforts March 24, 2017 Wisconsin,

Wisconsin Deer Population, Management News and Information Archive

Strong partnerships shine in third year of elk translocation efforts
03/24/2017 Wisconsin, DNR News

Twenty-eight Kentucky elk have arrived at their new home in the Flambeau River State Forest in Sawyer County. Once released into the wild, the “class of 2017” will join the current Clam Lake herd.

Check out a video highlighting their arrival in Wisconsin. 

This is the third year of a five-year elk reintroduction project being conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and many other local partners.


The Clam Lake herd resides primarily in Ashland, Price, and Sawyer counties, and was reintroduced to the area in 1995 from Michigan. Adding additional elk from Kentucky to the herd is expected to provide a boost to herd growth and introduce new genetics.  These efforts mark the third year of a five-year elk reintroduction program being conducted with assistance from multiple partners.

Wisconsin DNR staff have worked closely over the past three years with Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources staff to help make sure trapping efforts in Kentucky are as successful and efficient as possible.

Wisconsin elk translocation efforts over the past three years is a result of support from the U.S. Forest Service, Ho-Chunk Nation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Jackson County Wildlife Fund, Chippewa tribes, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, Flambeau River State Forest and many others.

Now that the elk have arrived in northern Wisconsin, DNR staff will take special precautions to help make sure these elk become accustomed to their new home in the Flambeau River State Forest.The elk will be enclosed in a seven acre holding pen to satisfy quarantine and animal health testing requirements and allow the elk to become familiar with their new surroundings. The area surrounding the holding pen is closed to the public during this period. Individuals are asked to avoid the general vicinity of the closed area until the elk are released.

During 2015 and 2016, a new elk herd was established in Jackson County where a total of 73 elk were released.  For more information regarding elk in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword “elk.”



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