Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Hunt Unlike Any Other

Young volunteers Alyson & Hunter Welch
Any hunter will tell you that tracking elk can be an exhilarating and exhausting experience. You can see where they bed. You can see their tracks. You can see their sign. You can even smell them in the air and yet sometimes you just never spot them. A just-completed elk “hunt” in the thick foliage and forests of Wisconsin just wrapped up with a much more than just a sighting.

Eighty-five volunteers from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation from across Wisconsin, and a handful from the Northeast, teamed up with 10 other volunteers for the annual calf search at Clam Lake. They scoured the forest floor of Ashland County for five days over two weekends as part of a joint effort with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with a goal of finding, weighing, and collaring elk calves for future population studies. 

Here’s the successful bottom line: 23 calves found including 13 females and 10 males. (One female calf was found dead.) Not only did their effort meet overall capture goals but it is also a positive for the future of the growing elk herd that females outnumber males. Last year, the final count was 12 males and 7 females. On top of that, monitoring continues in the field because three prospective mothers are yet to deliver. And if you’re wondering, volunteers also saw plenty of whitetail and even a black bear or two.

Aside from the camaraderie built from the day-long searches, RMEF also hosted campfire activities on three different nights at a nearby cabin. There was also a reception hosted by Chairman of the Board Lee Swanson and wife Jacqui.

Once again, thank you volunteers! Thanks for ensuring the future of elk and elk country in Wisconsin!

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