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MADISON – Whitetails aren’t the only members of the deer family wandering Wisconsin’s Northwoods. Both elk and moose call Wisconsin home and could be mistaken for a deer if hunters don’t take the time to be sure of their target and what’s beyond. Elk and moose are both protected species in Wisconsin.
“With an increasing population of elk and moose in the state, hunters should be aware that there is a potential to see these animals while hunting this fall,” said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist. “Being sure of your target not only ensures the safety of other people, but it is necessary to avoid the accidental shooting of non-target animals.”
Since the reintroduction of elk into Wisconsin in 1995, three elk have been accidentally shot by deer hunters. Elk now occupy portions of Ashland, Bayfield, Price, and Sawyer Counties. Both elk and moose are protected species in Wisconsin.
Although Wisconsin has not reintroduced moose, animals do wander into the state and even take up permanent residency as a result of a successful reintroduction in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and a native population of moose in Minnesota. According to Wallenfang, sightings of moose have been most frequent in Wisconsin’s northernmost counties this fall, but also as far south as Taylor and Langlade counties.