elk

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Each year thousands of people enter a lottery to hunt elk in northern Michigan, but only 200 people win tags.

To ensure success, most hunters hire a guide. Increasingly, elk guides are breaking hunting laws, so hunters are guaranteed a shot. Some guides are now worried the rule breakers are damaging the sport’s reputation.

At the elk park in Gaylord, guide Preston Casselman watches elk chew cud and relax.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, we dissect how many elk were poached this winter and why that number has increased. 

Plus, guides are illegally helping hunters bag an elk. What’s next for the guide industry?

Last month, three more elk were poached in the Pigeon River State Forest.

It was the latest in a series of elk poaching that has made the past few months some of the worst in recent memory for Michigan’s elk herd.

A series of elk poachings have made the past few months some of the worst in recent memory for Michigan's elk herd.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Last month, three more elk were poached in the Pigeon River State Forest.

It was the latest in a series of elk poaching that has made the past few months some of the worst in recent memory for Michigan’s elk herd.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources could increase the number of elk tags given to hunters next year.

It would be the first increase in four years. 

Michigan DNR

Five elk have been poached this year, which makes it the worst elk poaching year on record, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

All the poaching cases for northern Michigan happened roughly within a month. 

Michigan DNR

 

A second elk has been poached in northern Michigan.

The state’s Department of Natural Resources says a bull elk was shot earlier this week in Montmorency County, north of Atlanta.

Another elk was shot last weekend in the Pigeon River State Forest in Otsego County.

DNR Lieutenant Jim Gorno says he believes a hunter may have mistook the most recent elk for a deer.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Gaylord authorities say a bull elk was poached near Vanderbilt.

They disappeared from Michigan around 1875.

But these days, there's a flourishing herd of wild elk near Gaylord, and anyone can go to see them.

Drew Youngdyke, editor of Michigan Out-of-Doors magazine, joined Stateside today to explain how Michigan's elk made their comeback, what conservation methods look like today, and what seeing one of "Michigan's best kept secrets" is like.