Are You Sure Of Your Target? Two Elk Killed During Wisconsin Gun Deer Hunt

Category: article

 Nov 26th, 2020 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Nov 26th, 2020 at 8:04 AM

This opening weekend, two Wisconsin elk were killed illegally by hunters who mistook them for deer. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges hunters to remember the rules of firearm safety by being absolutely certain of their target before shooting.

Many of us in Wisconsin wait all year, counting down the days till opening weekend. But for the past three years, the excitement has gotten the better of at least one deer hunter who took a shot in haste and mistakenly killed an elk.
Elk vs deer chart

Is It An Elk Or A Deer?

Elk are generally larger than deer; an elk calf is the size of a full-grown white-tailed doe. Bull elk have tall, sweeping antlers compared to the forward-facing points on a white-tailed buck. Bull and cow elk are lighter in color (tan/buff) and lack the characteristic “white-tail” as compared to deer. In Wisconsin, many elk carry blaze orange radio collars and ear tags to help alert hunters.

Learn more about the differences between elk and whitetail deer below and with the DNR’s comparison guide.

Where Are Elk In Wisconsin?

Wisconsin is home to two elk herds, one centered around Clam Lake and the other around Black River Falls. With nearly 400 elk spread across six counties, deer hunters in northwestern Wisconsin must be vigilant in acquiring their intended target.

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, nearly 400 elk roam across Wisconsin, and individual elk have been sighted throughout the state.

Firearm Safety

As part of this push for safe hunting, wardens remind all hunters to use the four firearm safety rules as a cornerstone for safe and successful outings:

T – Treat every firearm as if it is loaded;

A – Always point the muzzle in a safe direction;

B – Be certain of your target and what’s beyond it; and

K – Keep your finger outside your trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

To learn more about safe hunting in Wisconsin,click here.

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