Skip to main content

Contact: Bob Nack, DNR Big Game Section Chief or 608-617-3492

2021 Elk Hunt Application Period Closes May 31

Apply For Chance At Once-In-A-Lifetime Hunt

The back of hunter Jed Becker is visible as he walks wearing camo and a blaze orange hat. Jed Becker, of Dane County, heading to the field for his once-in-a-lifetime Wisconsin elk hunt last year. The application for the 2021 elk hunt drawing closes May 31. Photo credit: Jed Becker

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds interested Wisconsin hunters to apply for a 2021 elk tag by May 31.

Each spring, the DNR accepts applications for a once-in-a-lifetime elk harvest tag for the fall hunting season. Collaborative reintroduction efforts have grown Wisconsin’s elk population enough to sustain an annual hunting season since 2018, and hunters with elk tags have had a 93% harvest success rate. The DNR anticipates herd growth again this year.

Last year, Jed Becker, of Dane County, was one of five state applicants chosen to pursue an elk during the 2020 season. It was Becker’s first elk hunt, and he says the experience built community and camaraderie. 

“I was excited to dive in and start planning for the hunt,” Becker said. “I leaned on friends, family, my guide and a couple of Wisconsin elk hunters from the prior year for advice and direction. It all paid off when we were able to harvest a dominant bull. My adrenaline spikes every time I tell the story or think back to the days we spent scouting and strategizing.”

Hunters can apply by logging on to their Go Wild account or visiting a license agent. The fee is $10 and drawing results will be available in mid-June. 

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation also sells raffle tickets for one bull tag for $10 each, and there is no limit to the number of raffle tickets an individual can purchase. Proceeds from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation raffle and $7 from each DNR tag application go to elk management and research in Wisconsin.

“Hunter’s dollars go right back into supporting elk management,” said Josh Spiegel, a DNR Wildlife Biologist in Sawyer County. “During the first three hunting seasons, applicants generated over $600,000 to support the health and growth of the herd.”

These funds are already enhancing elk habitat, benefiting the elk herd and many other wildlife species that share habitat with elk.

For more information on the elk hunt, visit the DNR’s elk webpage.