Fort McCoy News September 25, 2015

Fort McCoy updates hunting, fishing regulation

Fort McCoy Regulation 420-29, Hunting, Fishing, Trapping Laws and Regulations, has been updated and now is available.

Numerous updates were made to clarify rules for participating in outdoor activities while fishing, hunting, or even birdwatching at the installation, said Mark McCarty, chief of the Directorate of Public Works Natural Resources Branch (NRB).

The deer-registration and data-collection process will change for the 2015 gun/deer season since the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) now has a new online/smartphone deer-registration process, McCarty said. "The biggest change for us is that we'll no longer be registering deer."

All hunters who harvest a deer on the installation in 2015 will register their deer using the new WDNR online or phone-in system, McCarty said. NRB staff will be located at the data-collection points, previously known as the deer-registrations stations, to provide assistance to any hunter who has difficulty with the new process.

Photo
Nate Tucker, wildlife technician under contract with the Directorate of Public Works Natural Resources Branch, records the weight and other information about a harvested deer Nov. 25, 2014, at the deer-registration station on Fort McCoy's South Post. For the 2015 gun-deer season at Fort McCoy, hunters will be required to register their deer online with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. File photo by Scott T. Sturkol

"Even though we will not be registering deer, we encourage hunters to stop by the data-collection points to allow our biologists to collect biological data, such as weight, sex, and age," McCarty said. "This is important for calculating the installation deer population."

The updated regulation is available online at the Fort McCoy i-Sportsman website, www.mccoy.isportsman.net, as well as at the installation Permit Sales Office in building 2168.

The biggest change, according to NRB Wildlife Biologist Dave Beckmann, is allowing for select nonhunting/fishing activities at Fort McCoy.

The update states a Fort McCoy permit is not required for nonhunting/fishing activities, but all individuals participating in these activities are required to sign in and sign out each time they are completing those activities.

People must have an i-Sportsman account before they engage in nonhunting/fishing activities, Beckmann said. A WDNR customer number is needed to create an i-Sportsman account. Those who need to obtain a WDNR customer number should contact a WDNR Service Center or call its toll-free number at 888-936-7463 (seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.).

Allowable nonhunting/fishing activities include: berry picking; mushroom hunting; shed deer antler hunting; watercress harvesting; fiddlehead fern collection; birdwatching; dog walking (prohibited during the nine-day gun-deer season); and nature photography. Collection of items is limited to amounts for personal use and consumption. Collection for sale or commercial use is strictly forbidden, the regulation states.

Prohibited nonhunting/fishing activities include: horseback riding; all-terrain vehicle operation; motorcycle and bicycle operation off of main roads; Christmas tree cutting; snowmobile operation (except on designated snowmobile trails); and collection of aquatic insects unless individual has a collector's permit.

Beckmann said a new i-Sportsman site will be set up soon. "Hunters will need to recreate their account and are required to sign out each day and report if any deer were harvested," he said.

Other changes in the regulation affect many activities on post.

• There are updated season dates and hunting hours; new carcass tag use requirements; updated requirements for daily procedures for all hunting seasons; new hunting, fishing, and trapping maps; and updated fishing methods, including restricting nets, seines, spears (including bows and crossbows), and hands.

• Information is provided on how the background-check process is completed by the Directorate of Emergency Services before a visitor pass is issued.

• Bucks now are allowed to be harvested during the cantonment archery season after two antlerless/spike deer are first harvested.

• Alderwood Lake has been removed, and the addition of a new road is shown on the map.

To sign in or out for hunting or nonhunting/fishing activities, call the i-Sportsman system at 866-277-1597, go online to www.mccoy.isportsman.net, or stop at the Hunter Information Point located off Highway 21.

For more information about the regulation, call the Permit Sales Office at 608-388-3337.

   (Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office and the Directorate of Public Works Natural Resources Branch.)