40 hunters take to field for 18th Fort McCoy deer hunt for people with disabilities

Forty hunters participated in Fort McCoy’s 2019 special deer hunt for people with disabilities Oct. 5-6.

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, said Wildlife Program Manager and Biologist David Beckmann with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.

“Weather conditions for the hunt were very unfavorable for the majority of the hunters participating in the hunt,” Beckmann said.

“Heavy rain during portions of the morning of Oct. 5 that transitioned into showers and drizzle accompanied higher winds for the remainder of the day. The rain came to end overnight, but high winds were still present on Oct. 6.”

Ten deer were harvested during the hunt for a 22 percent success rate (six people harvested one deer and two people harvested two deer). The hunt drew hunters from throughout Wisconsin, said Julie Steinhoff with the Fort McCoy Permit Sales Office.

“The participants came and hunted at least one day,” Steinhoff said. “Many of them were returning hunters.”

Steinhoff added that although the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has many participating land owners for the special hunt throughout the state, most of those land owners can only sponsor one or two participants.

Fort McCoy does not limit the number of hunters because of the amount of acres open to hunting and the willingness of local volunteers, Beckmann said.

“The WDNR often will recommend Fort McCoy to hunters who cannot find a location or miss the WDNR application deadline,” Steinhoff said. “The Fort McCoy Permit Sales Office can accommodate disabled hunters up to the Friday before the hunt.”

Hunters are required to have a WDNR Class A, B, C, or D disability permit to participate in the Fort McCoy hunt. A total of 61 applications were received for 2019, Steinhoff said.

Each hunter received two deer harvest authorizations (carcass tags) with their Fort McCoy permit allowing the hunter to take two antlerless deer or one antlerless and one antlered deer, Beckmann said. All deer harvested were required to be registered through the Fort McCoy iSportsman website.

The Colorado State University (CSU) Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands wildlife staff, who are under an agreement with Fort McCoy, provided assistance with the deer registration process.

CSU wildlife staff collected biological data from the harvested deer at the Deer Data Collection Point located on South Post, Beckmann said.

The collection of biological data on deer harvested was mandatory in an effort to help with deer herd monitoring,” Beckmann said. “Biological data was collected on all 10 harvested deer.”

It was recommended that all hunters have an assistant to aid them in accessing hunting areas, retrieving and field dressing deer, and providing comradeship. A majority of hunters provided an assistant.

Those who could not were aided by local volunteers or the CSU staff. Eighteen people (volunteer and staff) provided assistance to the hunters.
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 Fort McCoy 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 Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch and the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)

Date Taken: 11.06.2019
Date Posted: 11.06.2019 16:30
Story ID: 350787
Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

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