Fort McCoy News October 25, 2013

Disabled hunters bag 46 deer during October hunt

Disabled hunters harvested 46 deer during a special two-day deer hunt at Fort McCoy Oct. 5-6.

David Beckmann, post wildlife biologist, said there were 63 hunters from all parts of Wisconsin, which continued the trend of an increasing number of hunters during the past seven years.

Photo for disabled hunt story
Disabled hunters display several of the deer harvested during a
special two-day hunt at Fort McCoy.
Contributed photo

Fort McCoy holds the hunt as a public service in conjunction with the statewide hunt for disabled hunters, Beckmann said. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) coordinates the hunt, and the installation follows the WDNR guidelines.

"In talking with the WDNR, their representatives have heard many good things from hunters related to their experience during the Fort McCoy deer hunt for disabled hunters," Beckmann said. "In some cases, the WDNR refers potential hunters to contact us for information. I feel the effort put into the hunt by Fort McCoy and our volunteer assistants is a big part of it."

Some of the newer hunters this year also commented that word-of-mouth from past participants encouraged them to participate.

Beckmann said some of the participants said they liked having the chance to scout and select their hunting areas, which differs from private landowners who sometimes place hunters in a specific spot.

Beckmann said hunters also liked that Fort McCoy can accommodate more hunters than many other properties participating in the hunt. As federal lands, Fort McCoy also may have more hunting stability than private lands, which may change hands because of property sales.

In addition to providing a public service and fostering good relations between Fort McCoy and the surrounding communities, the hunt also plays a small role in helping the installation in overall deer management, he said. Disabled hunters were allowed to harvest an antlerless deer and also a buck with their WDNR gun-deer carcass tag. Beckmann said in some instances the Fort McCoy hunt is the only opportunity these hunters have to hunt during the year.

"Some of these hunters have not hunted for years because of their disabilities," Beckmann said. "The October period for the hunt set by the WDNR allows these individuals to hunt when weather conditions are not as cold as the November nine-day gun deer season."

The Fort McCoy nine-day gun-deer season is set for Saturday, Nov. 23-Sunday, Dec. 1. All permits for the season have been sold. Military personnel who arrived too late to  purchase a permit may be able to purchase one under a special provision.

For more information about hunting or fishing at Fort McCoy, call or visit the Permit Sales Office, building 2168, at 608-388-3337.

Information about hunting and fishing at Fort McCoy also is available at the i-Sportsman website at www.mccoy.isportsman.net or http://ftmccoy.isportsman.net. (See related story.)