The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds deer hunters hunting in the area that wild elk are also found in this region and cannot be harvested without an elk hunting license.
“Unfortunately, in the past we have had deer hunters who make the mistake of harvesting a young male or a calf elk thinking it’s a white-tailed deer,” said Shelby Hiestand, DNR wildlife biologist. “Although a mistake, this would be an illegal take of game, which is a serious wildlife offense.”
Deer and elk have significant size differences. Elk can weigh several hundred pounds more and stand 2-to-4 feet taller than deer. Elk males also have a different appearance, with a lighter back and hindquarters and a darker, reddish-brown neck and head. Female elk are a reddish-brown color without a color variation. Both male deer and elk have antlers. Adult bull elk antlers are typically significantly larger than white-tailed deer antlers and branch beyond the ears; however, young spike bulls can have significantly smaller, unbranched antlers.
“If you know of a wildlife violation that has taken place or you have made a mistake, call our Report All Poaching line at (800) 292-7800,” Hiestand said.
Source: Gaylord Herald Times