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December 14, 2012

News

McCoy hunters harvest 606 deer during
9-day season

Even with unseasonably warm weather for much of the hunt, gun-deer hunters at Fort McCoy still harvested 12 more deer during the 2012 nine-day season than during last year’s hunt, said David Beckmann, Fort McCoy Wildlife biologist. Final Fort McCoy gun-deer harvest totals were 606 deer this year versus 594 deer in 2011.

The Fort McCoy numbers matched the trend of an increased harvest throughout Monroe County, Beckmann said. A total of 276 deer —141 antlered (bucks) and 135 antlerless — harvested during the first day (Nov. 17) was almost 70 deer ahead of the 2011 opening day total of 207 deer harvested and helped set the pace.
PHOTO:  Colorado State University contracted employee for the Natural Resources Branch, ages a deer. Photo by Rob Schuette
Kevin Luepke (foreground), a Colorado State University contracted employee for the Natural Resources Branch, ages a deer harvested Nov. 22 during the gun-deer hunt at Fort McCoy. Nate Prairie (background, left), also a Colorado State University contracted employee for the Natural Resources Branch, surveys hunters about their hunting experience at Fort McCoy.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

Beckmann credited the opening day total to the earlier start of this year’s gun-deer season and that the deer were still in the rutting season. In a typical year, about 55 percent of the total harvest is taken during the opening weekend. This year about 62 percent of the total harvest occurred on the opening weekend, he said.

Hunters generally indicated they were pleased with the 2012 season/harvest. Beckmann said surveys of successful hunters indicated they observed a good number of deer. Final harvest totals were 278 antlered deer and 328 antlerless deer.

Deer harvested, in general, appeared to be healthy, and the remaining deer herd is entering the winter in good shape, Beckmann said. This can be attributed to a lower deer population having less impact on the native habitat and a good acorn crop.

“We met our goal, which was a harvest of about 550 to 600 deer,” Beckmann said. “The remaining deer herd is well within the carrying capacity of the habitat at Fort McCoy.”

Gun-deer hunting seasons now are complete for 2012.

Disabled hunters took 31 deer during an October hunt. Archery hunters have taken 97 deer as of Nov. 29. Cantonment archery permit holders, part of the urban deer population control program, have taken 30 deer during the same period.

Beckmann said the deer archery season resumed after the gun-deer season ended and continues through Dec. 31.

Other fall hunting seasons continue. Turkey season ends Dec. 31 and small game ends Feb. 28. Permits are available for all hunts. Archery and small game hunters can purchase their permits directly from Automated License Issuance System (ALIS) agents, while fall turkey hunters first must submit a permit application to the Fort McCoy Permit Sales Office, building 2168, before purchasing the permits from ALIS.

The next hunting season is spring turkey. Permit applications will be available at a later date. For up-to-date information, visit the website www.mccoy.army.mil/Visitors/FishHuntInfo.asp.

For more information about hunting/fishing seasons at Fort McCoy, interested personnel can visit the website or call the Permit Sales Office at 608-388-3337.

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