State wildlife officials said they won't authorize an elk hunt this year.
Department of Natural Resources big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang issued a statement Wednesday saying the herd still hasn't grown enough to sustain a hunt.
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point reintroduced elk to Wisconsin in 1995, establishing a herd of 25 animals near Clam Lake. State law prohibits hunting until the statewide population surpasses 200 animals.
Wallenfang said in an interview the DNR anticipates the herd will be about 175 animals this spring.
The Natural Resources Board has approved plans to import elk from willing donor states to bolster the Clam Lake herd and start a second herd in Jackson County.