[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     March 11, 2011

Installation hunting, fishing fees increase for 1st time since 1996

Fort McCoy hunting and fishing permit fees will increase immediately, and be in effect for those purchasing 2011 fishing and fall hunting licenses/permits, said David Beckmann, Fort McCoy wildlife biologist. This is the first increase since 1996 and ranges from $2 to $5, depending on the type of permit, he said.
PHOTO: An angler tries his luck fishing at Swamp Pond at Fort McCoy. File photo
An angler tries his luck fishing at Swamp Pond at Fort McCoy during the 2010 fishing season. (File photo)

“The revenue generated from the sales of these permits is used in conjunction with appropriated funds for the management of fish and wildlife habitat, annual stocking of trout in several lakes, and to conduct the hunting and trapping seasons on Fort McCoy,” Beckmann said. “With the projected reduction in federal funding, and increased costs of doing business, these funds will be even more important to complete management requirements in the future.”

Fee increases were first discussed in 2005, Beckmann said. The discussion was put on the backburner as the installation worked with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to sell the Fort McCoy permits through the Automated License Issuance System (ALIS). Postponing the increase allowed time for the Natural Resources Branch to evaluate the system’s effectiveness and revenue generation, he said.

The ALIS process allows hunters and anglers to purchase Fort McCoy permits from any location that sells the WDNR license (including online sales), rather than having to come to Fort McCoy, he said. Hunters and anglers also could buy any necessary state permits at the same time, so this serves as a convenient one-stop location to buy all the necessary state and Fort McCoy licenses/permits.

“After evaluating the ALIS process for 2009 and 2010, several options were considered to recover some of the revenue losses (mainly due to not everyone selected for the quota hunts actually purchasing their permit) and to generate additional revenue, including increasing quota-permit numbers, imposing an application fee, and increasing permit fees across the board,” Beckmann said.

Beckmann said quota-permit numbers are determined carefully, including factoring in desired harvest numbers and accounting for hunter no-shows.

Increasing quota-permit numbers was not viable because it could lead to overharvest or result in higher hunter densities that posed a safety risk, he said.

Fee increases do not impact the 2011 Spring Turkey hunting season, as applications already have been accepted. Beckmann said the fees will increase for people purchasing licenses/permits for the 2011 fishing and fall hunting seasons.

Several fees will remain the same including the archery and Gun-Deer bonus tags, which are $12. Permits for disabled hunters for a disabled gun-deer hunt will remain at $10 and the trapping fee will remain at $20.

“Fees were not increased for the two-day disabled hunt because of the lower number of participants (currently about 30). This hunt also is not used as a deer management tool, but rather provides an opportunity for these hunters to participate in a deer hunt earlier in the fall when weather conditions are not as harsh,” he said. “Trapping permit fees also will remain at current levels to ensure participation. Currently, there are four to seven permits sold annually, and a higher permit fee might result in fewer trappers, who are essential to controlling furbearer populations on the installation.”

By federal law and Army regulations, the revenues generated from the sale of these permits only can be used to support fish and wildlife management on the installation where they were sold, he said. A maximum of 10 percent of the fees can be used for administrative functions related to the sale of hunting and fishing permits.

For more information about the Fort McCoy Fishing and Hunting seasons/programs, call Permit Sales at 608-388-3337 or visit the website http://www.mccoy.army.mil and click on Recreation Opportunities.

(See related story.)

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