I get warm fuzzies when I think about the day I get to hunt elk in Wisconsin. The day that I can go into the north woods and have a good chance to see a deer, an elk, a bear, a wolf, maybe even a cougar or moose. I get goosebumps thinking about a day that we could possibly see wild bison in our woods roaming free. My mouth waters for something other than beef pork and venison, what a feast we could have with elk, bison, venison, turkey, milk, cheese beer and wine! Sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with my great grandchildren years from now giving thanks for such a fine feast, telling stories of the past when we didn't have anything but deer. It's that warm fuzzy thought, that keeps me going and keeps me fighting. When the elk bugle from Minnisota to Lake Michigan, Lake Superior to the south west corner of Wisconsin, only then will I pass away with a warm Fuzzy feeling of we left this place better than we found it. As it stands now, my Fuzzy collection is a little low but there is hope. Bald eagles, turkeys, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, fishers, pine martins, fox, bobcat, coyote, bear, an occassional cougar, and wolves are all good sign, little fuzzies. To think we're a couple truck loads away from adding the missing genetics, the seeds to our future, it's time to get it done. I'm working on my big fuzzy, I've emailed the entire Fish and Wildlife commitee that was at the hearing in Madison April 15th thanking them for listening and asking for help for the DNR and RMEF to get past the Dept of Agriculture and recieve this gift to our state that's already bought and paid for. It would help my fuzzy collection if more of you would study the situation and get behind elk reintroduction in Wisconsin too.
Like the idea or not, give the idea a chance and see where it leads you. Look at the Clam Lake herd data, look at the Black River Falls herd proposal, all the studies that has been done in both areas, the $5 million RMEF has already spent in Wisconsin and the thousands spent by the DNR so far, our money still being spent for radio collars, impact studies, tracking, habitat restoration, traffic warning signs ect. ect. The DNR and RMEF have everything covered except permission from the Dept of Agriculture to transport wild elk from Elk Island Canada into Wisconsin. That transortation permission slip is all that is missing. I don't know how many elk we can get or want, that's up to the DNR and the experts, but if we get agressive like Kentucky, they went from 0 to hunting in 10 years. Major fuzzy. The minumum number added would be just to add enough genetics to creat a healthy herd. Without new blood soon, all we have is an imbred herd with poor genetics. Our 150 elk genetically speaking are in need of new genetics, the genetic plan is 7 years behind schedual. Keep in mind the original 25 were all from 1 herd in Michigan. Chances are high that they were all genetically related to each other already.
The time is right for elk. The deer herd is stressed to the max. The wolf population is testing the DNR, getting a head start over red tape and dession making. The bear population is peaking out, this with hunting has created a buffer zone between CWD zone and the elk reintroduction zone. As the forest regenerates, the deer regenerate along with the elk, and when we reach that point where we find a balance, we draw the lines and hunt everything over. We'll have to do some serious bear hunting, serious wolf hunting, and lay off deer and elk for awhile, as this new food chain settles in. Deer will recover faster, and that's good. The habitat can handle more deer and elk combined than just deer alone. Only studying the habitat as we go will tell us the best combination. 750,000 deer sounds a lot better if there were also 750,000 elk, 10,000 bison, 40,000 bears, 500-1500 wolves. Picturing northern Wisconsin having all the animals that Yellow Stone national park has, knowing the tourism and hunting economy that it could make for our grandchildrens future gives me big time warm fuzzies. How's that?
American by birth, hunter by choice.