“DO’s” and “DON’Ts” for elk and other wildlife viewing near Clam Lake
DO start early and stay late. Elk are most active in the early morning and evening hours.
DO slow down. Elk and other wildlife often cross Hwy 77 or feed on grasses in the ditch. Slowing down will give you more time to react to crossing animals and reduce the chances of a collision.
DO pull over only at safe areas. If you pull your vehicle over to the side of the road, make sure you are over as far as possible and out of the lane of traffic. Only pull over where it is safe to do so, preferably where it is possible for both lanes of traffic to clearly see you.
DO use flashers. Turning on your vehicle’s flashing lights makes you more visible to traffic. It may also slow traffic down and alert them to possible wildlife on the road side.
DO stay in your vehicle. If you are viewing wildlife near the road, stay in your vehicle. Exiting the vehicle can be dangerous to you and other motorists. It may also scare any wildlife and cause them to try to dart across the road.
DO try, try again. Elk and other wildlife are unpredictable. Although they are often near the roads, you may not be able to see them the first time you try.
For the best chance at a successful sighting, try to go out a couple of
DO take pictures! Take as many pictures as you’d like to remind you of your visit.
DON’T block traffic. Make sure your vehicle is not congesting the normal flow of traffic. There are always timber harvesting activities in the Clam Lake area which means there are lots of logging trucks traveling the highways and
DON’T honk at animals. Honking your vehicle’s horn may startle the animal and could cause it to run into traffic.
DON’T call to animals from the road. Cows and calves call to each other to stay in contact with the group and bulls bugle in the fall to find rival bulls. Calling from the road may draw elk onto the road and increase the chances of a collision. Vehicle-elk collisions are the second highest cause of mortality for Wisconsin elk with over 30 documented cases.
DON’T get out of your vehicle. Leaving your vehicle can be dangerous to yourself, other motorists and wildlife.
DON’T approach wildlife. Give any wildlife you see plenty of space. If the animal starts getting nervous, you’re too close.
DON’T feed wildlife. Wild animals should not be taught to associate food with humans. This disrupts their natural habits and can become dangerous to them and people.
DON’T trespass. Trespassing onto private property without landowner permission is illegal and could result in a fine of up to $263.50. Do not walk or drive your vehicle onto private property without speaking to the landowner.