Skip to main content

Contact: Josh Spiegel, DNR Wildlife Biologist or 715-558-0648

Apply For The 2023 Elk Season

Application Deadline Is May 31

A large elk stands in the middle of a wooded area. Photo credit: Tim Young

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters that the application period for the 2023 elk hunt is open until May 31. 

Once widespread across North America, elk were eliminated from Wisconsin in the 1880s. Thanks to the support of many partners and the backing of Wisconsinites, the herd is back.

“Thanks to collaborative reintroduction efforts, Wisconsin’s expanding elk population has grown. The state has had an annual hunt every year since 2018,” said Josh Spiegel, the DNR Wildlife Biologist in Sawyer County. “We anticipate growth in the herd again this year and are thrilled to offer this hunting experience.”

While the northern and central elk herd populations continue to grow, the 2023 hunting season will occur only within the northern elk management zone and is open from Oct. 14-Nov. 12 and Dec. 14-22, 2023. Successful applicants can hunt during either period. Only Wisconsin residents are eligible to receive an elk tag.

Wisconsinites can purchase their elk license applications online through Go Wild or in-person by visiting a license agent. The application fee is $10 each and is limited to one per person. The DNR recommends all applicants check and update their contact information to ensure contact with successful applicants.

For each application, $7 goes directly to elk management, monitoring and research in Wisconsin. These funds are used to enhance elk habitat, which benefits the elk and other Wisconsin wildlife.

If selected in the drawing, the cost of an elk hunting license is $49. Winners will be notified by early June. Wisconsin residents can only draw an elk tag once in their lifetime.

Before obtaining an elk hunting license, all winners must participate in a Wisconsin elk hunter orientation. The class covers Wisconsin elk history, hunting regulations, biology and behavior, and scouting/hunting techniques.

This year's elk quota will go to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board for approval in May. For more information on the elk hunt, visit the DNR Elk Hunting webpage.