Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
participating in the 2008 Gun-Deer hunt at Fort McCoy harvested 533
animals, just short of the harvest goal of 545 deer. David Beckmann,
installation Wildlife biologist, said the harvest goal was based on
the deer population prior to the 2008 hunt. "We based (this yearís)
harvest quotas on the projected pre-hunt deer population, including
fawn births and outside recruitment of deer from other deer
populations," Beckmann said. "Iím happy with the results
Allyson Czechowicz, a researcher
from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, collects debris from a
deer hoof to examine the role deer have in spreading invasive
(Photo by Wildlife
winter, Fort McCoy met its overwinter target population of 20-25 deer
per square mile for the first time since 2003. Harvest quotas for 2008
were determined to keep the deer population within this overwinter
addition to the 545 deer-harvest goal, Beckmann said personnel hunting
at the installation take about another 200 deer through archery,
muzzle-loader and disabled hunters hunts, in a typical season. That
would make a total harvest goal of about 750 deer for the combined
McCoy has a very good database of yearly deer statistics, which dates
back to the 1980s when Beckmannís predecessor, Kim Mello, began
documenting the deer population numbers.
harvest goals are based on population models and calculations refined
from these numbers as well as trends seen over the past years,
had a 30 percent success rate this year, Beckmann said, which is very
good and comparable to previous hunts when the deer population were at
the installation did not get measurable amounts of snow during the
opening weekend, hunters did harvest a total of 307 deer ó 187
antlered and 120 antlerless. During the entire season, hunters took
283 antlered deer and 250 antlerless deer, a split of about 53 percent
antlered to 47 percent antlerless.
Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving) on, hunters did pretty well, registering 100
deer, Beckmann said. This was up from the 80 deer anticipated during
the four-day period and helped to get the total harvest closer to the
A hunter displays a nine-point
buck shot on North Post at Fort McCoy during the gun-deer
season. (Photo by
Wildlife Program staff)
the management programs contributing to the success of the hunt was
the introduction of seven-day Gun-Deer permits, which werenít valid
during the opening weekend.
think it helped hunter pressure on the deer, allowing us to meet our
harvest goals," Beckmann said. "It also gave others, who
were not selected or missed the application deadline, a chance to
a good deer management tool to keep in mind when we sit down to
analyze the numbers (and determine next yearís quotas),"
Beckmann said. "Weíll look at the data and decide if we should
continue the program."
early data from this hunt also suggests that the deer are healthy
going into the winter, Beckmann said. The fat content seen on the deer
is a good indicator of how healthy and prepared they are for the
year, winter conditions, especially the deep snow, may have
contributed to the loss of some deer; however these losses likely did
not severely affect the overall deer population. If these conditions
repeat themselves this year, the deer should be able to get through
them without much problem.
aspect of the 2008 hunt included researchers from Luther College of
Decorah, Iowa, conducting on-site inspections for the second
consecutive year to examine the role deer may have in spreading
invasive plant species. During the opening weekend, students took more
than 200 samples from the hooves of harvested deer.
from these collections will be planted in the spring to determine the
number of native and invasive species being picked-up and transported
to other areas.
results will be helpful in understanding other mechanisms that
contribute to the spread of invasive plants," Beckmann said.
"Their research will give us another piece of information that we
can use to develop and adjust our invasive species management plans