|By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
weather conditions and lower deer populations tended to reduce the deer
harvest throughout the state, Fort McCoy deer hunters had excellent
success during the 2009 Gun-Deer Season. David Beckmann, Fort McCoy
Wildlife Biologist, said Fort McCoy hunters had an excellent opening day
Nov. 21 and bagged 303 deer, compared to 209 for the opening day in
2008. The success rate was remarkable, given the foggy conditions and
warmer-than-usual weather, which tended to reduce deer movement, he
Wendy Burrows was one of the
hunters who harvested a deer at Fort McCoy during the Gun-Deer
(Photo by Fort McCoy
Wet, rainy weather also hampered hunting conditions through about
Nov. 25. Beckmann said even with the less-than-optimal conditions, Fort
McCoy hunters had taken 537 deer by the end of Nov. 24, which surpassed
the total of 533 deer harvested in 2008.
“The weather improved about Nov. 24-25 and the hunters kept building on
the opening day success,” Beckmann said. “The hunters took 161 deer in
the last four days of the hunt.”
The final 2009 total of 712 deer harvested was up about 25 percent
compared to the 2008 total and just shy of the 750 harvest goal set for
2009, Beckmann said.
Increasing the deer harvest will help Fort McCoy reach its over winter
goal of 20-25 deer per square mile, he said. After the 2008 hunt, Fort
McCoy had about 28 deer per square mile. Fort McCoy has about 94 square
miles, of which 72 square miles are considered deer range.
“Two factors that helped our harvest totals were the sale of bonus tags
and seven-day permits. A total of 750 bonus tags were sold to the
nine-day permit holders and 120 bonus tags were offered to the seven-day
permit holders,” Beckmann said.
This also was the second year that seven-day permits were issued for the
Gun-Deer Season. “The seven-day permit, which allows those not selected
for the nine-day permit to hunt on Fort McCoy after the opening weekend,
will be offered again next year if deer population levels can support
the hunting pressure,” he said.
“We’ll start looking over the data from the hunt in the next few days,”
to see what the trends are and what modifications may be needed for the
next Gun-Deer Season.”
In the meantime, the Fort McCoy deer archery season is under way through
People who are interested in hunting at Fort McCoy are encouraged to
keep up-to-date by visiting the public Web site at
clicking on Recreation Opportunities and then on Fishing/Hunting.
Hunters are reminded they must apply to the Permit Sales Office for
quota hunts at Fort McCoy, but will buy their permits through the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Automated License Issuance
This system allows hunters to purchase Fort McCoy hunting and fishing
permits in their home communities, instead of having to come out to Fort
McCoy to do so.
For more information about hunting/fishing seasons at Fort McCoy, visit
the Web site or call 608-388-3337.