Fort McCoy News Nov. 11, 2016

49 hunters with disabilities take to field for hunt

Forty-nine hunters participated in Fort McCoy's 2016 special deer hunt for people with disabilities Oct. 1-2.

The special hunt has been held on post for 14 years, said Wildlife Program Manager and Biologist Dave Beckmann with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.

"We had another successful hunt," Beckmann said. "The harvest success rate was right around 35 percent, which is about the same as last year. The hunters were able to find good areas to hunt and some found success."

Every October, Wisconsin holds a nine-day gun deer hunt for people with disabilities. Since 2002, Fort McCoy has participated by holding a two-day hunt the first weekend of the statewide hunt. Fifty-three people applied and were issued permits for the 2016 hunt, Beckmann said. "I'm glad we had such a nice turnout, too."

Tiffany Nemeth of La Crosse, Wis., has a photo taken with her first deer, which she harvested during the special hunt.
Tiffany Nemeth of La Crosse, Wis., has a photo taken with her
first deer, which she harvested during the special hunt.
Photo by
Nate Tucker

Hunters who requested support were assisted by volunteers who served as hunting assistants. The more than 40 hunting assistants included Family and friends of the hunters as well as off-duty military and civilian personnel from Fort McCoy. They assisted with finding areas to hunt as well as retrieving harvested deer.

"We had a successful weekend of hunting because of all the assistants who helped out," said Kevin Luepke, research assistant and wildlife coordinator with Colorado State University's Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands under contract with Fort McCoy.

"The weather was warm and beautiful the whole weekend," said Luepke, who helped manage the hunt and assisted several hunters in retrieving deer. "Most of the time, hunters like when the weather is a bit cooler, but I think, in this hunt, the warmer weather helped some of these folks stay out longer."

Luepke said one hunter, Tiffany Nemeth of La Crosse, Wis., harvested her first deer during the hunt.
"She was so happy," Luepke said. "When you see that smile of a successful hunter, it makes all the work that everyone did worthwhile. We were very happy for her."

Anyone who would like to volunteer to assist hunters during future hunts should call Beckmann at 608-388-5374.

Applications for the hunt are accepted from June through mid-September each year. Applications are submitted through the i-Sportsman website at ftmccoy.isportsman.net.

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

For more information about how to obtain a disabled hunting license, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website at dnr.wi.gov/permits/disabled.html.

   (Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)