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home : outdoors : hunting May 29, 2016

2/14/2014 9:13:00 AM
Elk expert Wallenfang visits the Northwoods Feb. 20
The Discovery Center hosts guest speaker, Wisconsin DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang, on Thursday, Feb. 20 at its monthly Nibbles ‘N Knowledge program series.Contributed photograph

The Discovery Center hosts guest speaker, Wisconsin DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang, on Thursday, Feb. 20 at its monthly Nibbles ‘N Knowledge program series.

Contributed photograph

If you happen across a 700-pound, four-legged ungulate in the forest, chances are you have not encountered a whitetail deer.

Thanks to a reintroduction project, it is possible to once again encounter elk in northern Wisconsin. 

Once found throughout the state, elk were extirpated due to increased hunting and changing habitat.

In 1995, elk were reintroduced to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest through a partnership between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. As of September 2013, and based upon past methods of estimation, Wisconsin’s Clam Lake herd is now at 175 animals.

DNR biologists have been monitoring the elk herd to learn more about their population, movement, and habitat use throughout Wisconsin.

Of particular interest and an eco-tourism opportunity are viewing elk during September and October when elk can be seen feeding in the open and the loud bellowing mating call of the male’s “bugle” can be heard.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, the Discovery Center is proud to host special guest Kevin Wallenfang as part of their Nibbles ‘N Knowledge monthly lecture series.

A Wisconsin native, Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has worked in professional wildlife management for more than 20 years.

Before starting with the WDNR in 2011, Kevin was Wisconsin’s Regional Wildlife Biologist for Pheasants Forever and also spent several years as a biologist and initiative director for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Kevin will discuss the reintroduction and continued management of elk in Wisconsin along with their ecology, biology and habits. You can learn about the male elk “bugle,” part of the mating communication ritual, and take a shot at doing it yourself.

The program is Thursday, Feb, 20, from 5-7 p.m. It will be an evening of delicious nibbles paired with the opportunity to expand your knowledge. Complimentary appetizers and cash bar start off the evening, followed by the presentation.

This program is hosted in the main lodge at Camp Jorn YMCA ($10 members; $13 general public). Pre-registration is encouraged.

For more information call 877-543-2085 or visit www.discoverycenter.net.

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