Fort McCoy News September 12, 2014

Several hunting seasons begin on Fort McCoy

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Several hunting seasons begin in September and October at Fort McCoy.

The archery deer season is Sept. 13 to Nov. 20 and Dec. 1 to 31; fall turkey season is Sept. 13 to Nov. 20 and Dec. 1 to 31; small game season for numerous species is Sept. 13 through various end dates; and the gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities is Oct. 4 and 5. From Nov. 22 to 30, the only hunting allowed on the installation is for the Wisconsin nine-day gun deer season for which permits have already been selected.

Photo for hunting article
A whitetail deer buck is shown on a Fort McCoy range in August.
Photo by Jim Kerkman

Fort McCoy Wildlife Biologist Dave Beckmann, from the Directorate of Public Works Natural Resources Branch (NRB), said many people who hunt on post have done so for years, but added all hunters who come here should be well prepared.

"All hunters, particularly those new to hunting on Fort McCoy, should familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations before they come here to hunt," Beckmann said. "There are added restrictions in addition to state of Wisconsin rules, so it is important to be familiar with the regulations before coming here."

All of the information they need can be found on the i-Sportsman website, https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net.

Hunting, fishing and trapping on post are regulated by Fort McCoy Regulation (FMR) 420-29 — also available on i-Sportsman. All hunters, per the regulation, are required to sign-in for all 2014 hunting seasons using the i-Sportsman automated system by calling 866-277-1597, or through the i-Sportsman website.

Fort McCoy hunters must purchase a Fort McCoy permit as well as the appropriate Wisconsin hunting license.

"Just like you can buy a Wisconsin license at ALIS agents throughout the state, you can also purchase the required Fort McCoy permits on ALIS, as well," Beckmann said. Permits can also be purchased online through the DNR's Wisconsin's Online Licensing Center at http://dnr.wi.gov/Permits/.

Fort McCoy hunters have good opportunities for success, Beckmann said. Deer and small game populations are looking good this year.

"For example, for archery hunters, there are deer all around the post," Beckmann said.

"It depends on what types of areas you like to hunt to find them. We have ridges, swamps, open areas, and all sorts of terrain here, so there is a good variety of places to hunt and good numbers of deer."

For small game, Beckman said hunters will find a variety of species including ruffed grouse, cottontail rabbit, squirrel and crow.

"Ruffed grouse populations go in 10-year cycles," Beckmann said. "This year we are on the upper end of that cycle, so the numbers are pretty good."

All hunters must know the location they hunt. "There are trails you can shoot across, but there are main roads where you cannot," Beckmann said. "Just be aware of where you hunt and be mindful of your proximity to those main roads."

Turkey hunters will also have good numbers of birds available.

"The turkeys survived this past winter really well and they can be found all over," Beckmann said.

With good hunting prospects, Beckmann said hunters should do well. And, while they are out, he asked they maintain good hunter etiquette and ethics.

"First-come, first-served should be respected by all hunters," Beckmann said. "You can't claim any area on Fort McCoy as 'your spot.' Respect other hunters and non-hunters alike."

The "User Ethics" section of FMR 420-29 advises hunters to respect appropriate distances from other hunters by staying a minimum of 100 yards apart.

Practicing safe weapon use by knowing the target and what lies behind the target, and taking ethical and safe shots are crucial.

"Be safe, follow the rules, and be a good steward of the environment where you hunt," Beckmann said. "Do those things and you'll have a great hunting experience at Fort McCoy."

For more information about hunting on Fort McCoy, call the Permits Sales Office at 608-388-3337, or go online to https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net.

For more information on hunting in Wisconsin, go online to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Web page at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/.