40 More Kentucky Elk Are Headed To Wisconsin

DNR Relocated 23 Animals Last Year

Laine Stowell/Wisconsin DNR

Around 40 elk will be relocated from Kentucky to Jackson County, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The animals will undergo a quarantine and health testing for about four months before being released into the Black River State Forest. Northern region director John Gozdzialski said staff have been in Kentucky working on the elk relocation project.

“We’re trying to get about 25 a year from Kentucky up here, and we’ve got that planned for four years,” he said.

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DNR staff spent five weeks capturing elk to increase the herd in Wisconsin. The agency hopes to bring in up to 150 elk from Kentucky. Last year, 23 were released in Jackson County and about 15 remain.

Gozdzialski said disease, vehicle accidents and wolves have affected efforts to build a self-sustaining herd. He said they’ve also been moving around a dozen elk each year from the Clam Lake area to Sawyer and Rusk counties to increase their numbers and their range.