Recreate Safely This Holiday Weekend


Recreate Safely This Holiday Weekend

The holiday weekend means more folks on state trails and waters – be sure to prioritze safety when recreating this Memorial Day. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and folks all over the state are dusting off their gear and planning to venture outdoors. As we kick off the long weekend, we expect a significant increase in traffic on Wisconsin’s waters and trails.

Whether you’re tubing, fishing with the family or heading overland on an ATV trail, make safety a priority this holiday weekend.


  • Always wear a properly fitted and fastened life jacket when on or near the water. A life jacket will keep you on top of the water if you walk off an unexpected drop-off, a wave or current overpower you or you fall out of a boat.
  • Enjoy the waters sober and know your limits. Alcohol blurs a person’s judgment, reaction time and abilities.
  • River shorelines and sandbars pose unseen dangers. Higher, fast-moving water can tax an individual’s boating, paddling and swimming skills.

ATV/UTV Riders

  • Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during your ride.
  • Do not travel in unfamiliar areas.
  • Follow all posted speed limits and regulatory signs.
  • Let someone not riding with you know where you are going and when you will return.


Last Chance For Wisconsin Elk Hunt

Applications for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity close May 31 at 11:59 p.m.

Once widespread here and across North America, elk were eliminated from Wisconsin in the 1880s due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss. From a population of 25 elk reintroduced in 1995, and with the help of the second reintroduction effort that started in 2015, the state’s total elk population has now surpassed 500 animals.

Although the primary purpose of elk reintroduction is not harvest, it remains an effective method to manage population growth, reduce agricultural conflict and provide Wisconsin residents with an exclusive hunting experience.

Wisconsin residents can purchase an elk license application online through the Go Wild license portal or in person at a license sales agent. The application fee is $10 and is limited to one per person.

For each application fee, $7 goes directly to elk management, monitoring and research. These funds also help create and enhance elk habitat, which benefits elk and other wildlife species.

If selected in the drawing, an elk hunting license costs $49. Winners will be notified by early June. Wisconsin residents can only draw an elk tag once in their lifetime



They’re Back!

Hundreds (maybe thousands) of periodical cicadas are crawling out of the ground in southern Wisconsin at this very moment!

These mysterious bugs are only seen every 17 years in Wisconsin, and the first reports the DNR received of their emergence came in last Friday, May 17, from a resident of Lake Geneva.

“Dozens are hatching in my yard,” the photographer wrote in their email to the DNR.

Periodical cicadas are found in the eastern half of the United States and nowhere else.

The 17-year Brood XIII is the only one known to emerge in Wisconsin, though only in the southernmost counties. However, other parts of the Midwest, like Illinois, will see the emergence of both Brood XIII and the 13-year Brood XIX. This will be the first time these two broods have emerged in the same year since 1803.

Individuals who spot cicadas on their property or public lands are encouraged to report the sighting on the Cicada Safari app to help track the co-emergence of Broods XIII and XIX.

Cicadas are expected to keep emerging in southern Wisconsin into June and will not appear again in the state until 2041.