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December 11, 2009

Outdoors

McCoy deer harvest tops 700 mark

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

While 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 said.

Photo: Wendy Burrows was one of the hunters who harvested a deer at Fort McCoy during the Gun-Deer Season. (Photo by Fort McCoy Wildlife Program)
Wendy Burrows was one of the hunters who harvested a deer at Fort McCoy during the Gun-Deer Season.
(Photo by Fort McCoy Wildlife Program)

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 Dec 31.

People who are interested in hunting at Fort McCoy are encouraged to keep up-to-date by visiting the public Web site at http://www.mccoy.army.mil and 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 System.

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.

 

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