Wisconsin Bowhunter Takes Down The State’s First Archery Elk Since The 1880s

Elk hunter
Dan Everson

Back in June, Wisconsin hunter Dan Everson got the call that every avid hunter dreams of getting.

Evenson, of Cambridge, Wisconsin, got a call from his wife Laura while he was bear hunting in Alaska, that he’d just won one of three Wisconsin elk tags awarded in a lottery, out of a whopping 25,742 applicants…

And boy, did he make the most of it.

Evenson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Wisconsin elk tag is by far the hardest to draw, so you can imagine he was ecstatic when he got the news from his wife.

Evenson is a big time hunter with over 50 record book-class big game species, and has done it all with a bow, never a rifle.

So, he decided he was going to set out for another bowhunting record, using his new elk tag as an advantage.

Elk were native to Wisconsin, but had been wiped out in the 1800s due to unregulated hunting.

However, a reintroduction effort kickstarted in 1995 to bring the species back to the state, when 25 elk were transferred from Michigan to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest to Clam Lake, which is where Evenson began scouting in late summer.

And beginning in 2018, the elk population was finally large enough to warrant a hunt.

This year, 8 tags were issued, one of which was raffled off by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, three in a lottery for in-state hunters, and the other half to Ojibwe tribes.

Evenson, a self-employed electrician, set out to Clam Lake with some buddies on October 13th, where they discovered a herd of 30 elk south of the lake, including a beauty 6 by 7 rack, and they found the same group the next day.

On opening day of elk season, he made his first attempt at taking down the 6 by 7, but failed.

But on the second day, the elk were browsing past a row of vegetation, and Evenson was able to get within shooting distance of the massive bull, as it was standing broadside at 60 yards, a perfect shot.

That’s when he took the shot, and the elk took off into the foliage.

He and his friends discovered the bull dead, 100 yards away.

Needless to say, Evenson was ecstatic:

“To have it all come together was pretty sweet.”

Evenson, who is a certified big game scorer, scored the 6 by 7 bull, and its green score was 283 7/8 inches.

Although he has to wait out the 60-day drying period, the bull is expected to easily qualify for the Pope and Young Club record book, which requires a minimum score of 260.

Not to mention, its the first recorded bow-killed elk in at least 140-years.

The harvest also gives Evenson the 25th species in his SuperSlam quest, with only four species left: barren ground caribou, bighorn sheep, mountain caribou, and Shiras moose, all of which aren’t found in Wisconsin.

Needless to say, it was an awesome and overwhelming experience for the avid bowhunter:

“I’m feeling very fortunate, very humbled. What an experience, and right here in Wisconsin.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock