Wisconsin Elk Moving West

By KBJR News 1

November 20, 2012 Updated Nov 20, 2012 at 7:14 PM CDT

Hayward, WI (NNCNOW.com)
-- On the Shores of Teal Lake, Wisconsin wildlife rules the thick woods of the Chequamegon National Forest.

Wolves, bear, and deer are common in the area near Hayward, as well as elk.

The Clam Lake Herd of Elk is slowly moving west and recently made a surprise visit on a Northland Golf Course.

George Young has a little slice of paradise, living on the Ross Teal Wing Golf Course. A perk of working maintenance is he gets to walk around the fairways and trails snaking next to Teal Lake.

Recently he noticed some giant tracks in leading in and out of the sand traps.

"If these are deer tracks it would be deerzilla."

Then one day, he saw something rare on the fourth hole.

"We were coming around the corner here and it was the biggest Elk I've ever seen in my life. Just guessing but I would imagine he was every bit of 1,200 or 1,300 pounds," said Young.

"So I come out the back door and we went out the back and looked over and there it was on number four green. You could see it, it was eating," said Young's wife Theresa Auston.

Traditionally the Elk don't cross the Teal River but there's not a lot stopping them. There is a bridge that cars can cross over and elk know how to swim.

The Clam Lake Herd of Elk was introduced to the area in 1995.

Since then the herd has increased from 25, to around 150 Elk, just miles away from the Teal River.

"I think most people knew that they would move a little farther."

With an increase in population, an expansion in area seems logical and now, a case in fact, with the first elk sighting west of the Teal.

The Clam Lake Herd has grown at an average rate of 13 percent annually since 1995.

Zach Vavricka

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