Hunters at Fort McCoy are helping the installation’s wildlife program
to manage the deer population and maintain a quality hunting experience
by responding to a newly developed e-mail survey.
Licensed Practical Nurse Morgan
Meyer (left) gives Capt. Robert Harper a tuberculosis test at
the Fort McCoy Soldier Readiness Center Medical Section. Harper
is with the 415th Engineer Detachment, Fort Bragg, N.C., which
is preparing to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Photo by Tom Michele
David Beckmann, Fort McCoy wildlife biologist, said survey results
help the wildlife program track deer population trends and identify
possible areas of improvement in various aspects of the hunt.
The e-mail survey was developed for the 2009 Spring Turkey Season and,
subsequently, was used for the 2009 Gun-Deer Season, Beckmann said.
Beckmann said Fort McCoy hunting season applicants have been asked to
provide their e-mail address in the past with the intent to use it as
another communications tool. “We are now putting this information to use
as part of our wildlife and hunting program management strategies and
plan to expand its use in the future to disseminate other forms of
“During past Gun-Deer seasons we collected information, such as daily
hunter participation and number of deer seen, at the check-in points on
opening weekend,” Beckmann said. “With the suspension of hunter check-in
requirements in 2008, we no longer had access to some of that data. The
new e-mail survey fills in these gaps and also gives us the opportunity
to gather additional information that would not have been collected in
The change to the Automated License Issuance System (ALIS), which allows
hunters to purchase their permits off post, also changed the way hunters
receive information about the hunts, such as where to obtain
regulations, he said.
In addition to the introduction of ALIS, the wildlife program worked
with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security -
Range Division and the Fort McCoy Network Enterprise Center to improve
the GAME LINE (608-388-4263), which provides a recorded message to tell
hunters what areas are closed to hunting, etc. Beckmann said the system
now can handle multiple callers at the same time, allowing them to get
information in a timely manner.
“The e-mail survey gave us information about how well the new systems
worked and what customers thought of the changes,” Beckmann said. “It
was easy to fill out the form and return it to us by hitting a submit
button or printing the form and mailing or hand delivering it to us.”
The e-mail survey also helps the wildlife program staff assess deer
population levels and hunter density. Beckmann said hunters could
indicate which days they hunted and the number of deer they saw.
This data is used to evaluate hunter density and distribution to ensure
everyone has a safe and enjoyable hunting experience, he said. Survey
data also is used in calculating current deer population levels and
monitoring population trends. “Our management goals are to maintain a
healthy deer herd at levels that will not degrade their natural food
sources, threaten critical habitats for other species, or cause damage
to training lands and adjacent agricultural lands all while still
providing a quality hunting experience. Information from the surveys
helps us to meet all of these areas.”
Out of about 1,040 surveys e-mailed, 258 hunters responded. Many
respondents also provided additional comments beyond answering the
questions, he said. The suggestions were evaluated to see if
implementation was possible.
“Each year we do the survey, we expect to improve it and hope to
increase our response rate,” Beckmann said.
For more information about hunting at Fort McCoy, call the Permit Sales
Office, building 2168, at 608-388-3337.