[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                   October 24, 2008

Gun-Deer season has changes 
to support hunting

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy

Individuals participating in the 2008 Fort McCoy hunting seasons will notice several changes that should enhance their hunting experience, said David Beckmann.

Beckmann, the installation’s Wildlife biologist, said one of the changes is to suspend the previous hunter sign-in/sign-out requirements for all hunting seasons on the installation.

"The sign-in sheds will remain open to provide additional information to hunters, such as Game Line/Area Closure listing, large- scale hunting area map, announcements, and general hunting information," Beckmann said. "Hunters are encouraged to check the information periodically to find out about any changes for their particular hunting season."

Several other steps have been taken this year to provide additional hunting opportunities for the Gun-Deer season, Beckmann said.

As in previous years, military personnel who are transferred (Permanent Change of Station) to Fort McCoy after the permit quotas have been filled (March 31 for 2008) are eligible to purchase a nine-day, Gun-Deer hunting permit if they bring a copy of their orders to the Permit Sales Office, building 2168.

"Starting with the 2008 season, Gun-Deer permits also will be available to Wisconsin residents on active military duty outside of Wisconsin and home on official leave. Additionally, military personnel mobilizing at Fort McCoy during the Gun-Deer season can purchase a permit," Beckmann said.

Personnel who meet the active-duty or mobilization criteria must request permit approval through the garrison command sergeant major, who can be reached at (608) 388-3605.

The new seven-day Gun-Deer permits, which have been awarded, also will provide additional opportunities for hunters who otherwise would not have been able to hunt on Fort McCoy, Beckmann said.

Beckmann said the addition of the seven-day permit was discussed with the garrison commander as an option for individuals not selected (more-than 500 applications were returned) or did not apply for the nine-day permit after the quota was filled. A key element in the determination of the seven-day permits was that the additional harvest would not negatively affect the installation’s deer management program and goals.

"We looked at the overall deer population and determined we could issue up to 250 permits (for seven-day hunters) on a trial basis," Beckmann said. "Through the excellent support of our hunters and the issuance of bonus tags over the past five years, our overwinter deer population goal of 20-25 deer per square mile was met for the first time since 2003. We decided to make a limited number of seven-day permits available this year and will evaluate the success and results on the installation deer population."

With the installation deer population within its target goals, bonus tags will not be issued to hunters this year. Hunters will need to use their State of Wisconsin Gun Buck Deer carcass tag.

Another change this year is that 1,125 randomly selected hunters will receive a Hunter’s Choice Approval sticker that must be affixed to their Fort McCoy Gun-Deer permit. This sticker replaces the Hunter’s Choice Card that was issued in previous years and often confused as a bonus tag.

For the second year, Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, will be collecting debris from the hooves of deer at the registrations stations to study the effects of deer on the spread of invasive plant species, he said. Luther College professor Myla Aronson chose Fort McCoy to continue their research because of McCoy’s extensive invasive plant database and control efforts. Fort McCoy benefits from this research by receiving empirical data of potential factors that spread the invasive plants without having to allocate its own resources.

Hunters and motorists also are reminded of the safety risks that go along with the fall hunting seasons. Deer ticks, which can carry Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis, still may be active dependent on weather conditions and because of the movement of deer during mating season, he said.

Motorists should be aware of increased deer movement on Fort McCoy roadways.

Beckmann said this generally picks up in late October and continues through the Gun-Deer hunting season.

For more information about hunting, call the Permit Sales Office at (608) 388-3337 or Wildlife Section at (608) 388-5374.


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