Wisconsin and Fort McCoy’s 2019 nine-day gun-deer season will be held Nov. 23 to Dec. 1.
In 2018, 1,394 hunters took to the woods at Fort McCoy, harvesting more than 440 deer, said Wildlife Program Manager and Biologist David Beckmann with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.
For 2019, approximately 1,800 permits were made available as well as 200 additional bonus tags.
“The deer harvest goal this year is between 450 and 500 deer so we can continue to effectively manage our deer population,” Beckmann said.
“Though our spring fawn surveys were down, there are still lots of deer on the installation. There should be plenty of opportunities for all who take to the field.”
To participate in the gun-deer hunt at the installation, hunters must apply for a Fort McCoy permit through the Fort McCoy iSportsman site, and then also purchase their permits through iSportsman, Beckmann said. The applications for the gun-deer hunt generally become available in late June every year. All permits have been sold for this year and everyone who applied for a permit has already been notified through iSportsman.
Soldiers that PCS to Fort McCoy after Oct. 18 are still eligible for a permit and should contact the Permit Sales Office for more information.
In addition, hunters coming to the installation must also have an annual Wisconsin deer gun license. The Wisconsin licenses are sold through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) GoWild system at https://gowild.wi.gov or a designated WDNR GoWild agent.
The cost of a Fort McCoy gun-deer permit is $21, and a resident Wisconsin gun-deer license is $24.
For the 2019 gun-deer hunt, Beckmann said the biological-data collection/registration station will again be in operation on South Post in the same location as previous years.
“These stations are where hunters are required to bring their harvested deer,” Beckmann said.
“At the station, we collect important age and health data. We’re also taking samples to test for chronic wasting disease as part of a larger information-gathering effort we’re doing with the WDNR.”
Fort McCoy hunters do not need to register their harvested deer with the WDNR, but they do have to register any harvested deer through the check-out process. “This is a change from last year,” Beckmann said.
Fort McCoy’s deer population should continue to have many larger bucks available to hunters, as well, Beckmann said. “There are some big antlered bucks out there, and we anticipate some big ones to be in the harvest this year,” he said.
Hunters also need to remember that Fort McCoy requires all privately owned firearms brought on to the installation be registered through the Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) Physical Security. This includes the entirety of the federal land, including the training and housing areas.
More information about deer hunting at Fort McCoy can be found on the iSportsman website at https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net.
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