By Matt Decker (Leonard Wood)September 28, 2017
Hunting, fishing and otherwise utilizing the outdoors on Fort Leonard Wood used to require physically checking in and out with Range Control or waiting on emails.
Now that's changing, thanks to the new iSportsman platform, which will let users accomplish the same tasks by phone or clicking a few online links after registering.
Pushed out by Installation Management Command, the Web-based platform is specifically designed to manage hunting and fishing programs on military bases, and can collect a variety of data that can be used to make future improvements.
"We are one of 15 installations implementing iSportsman this year," said Kenton Lohraff, wildlife biologist with the Natural Resources Branch. "The improvements will be in ease of access, the eventual convenience of permit sales and the ease of collecting harvest data."
While not fully implemented yet on Fort Leonard Wood, the installation has been using iSportsman for check-ins for the past month. Lohraff said that, eventually, the program will be able to conduct recreation, hunting, fishing and woodcutting permit sales.
Officials have set a target for full implementation for January 2018.
In the meantime, new procedures have been posted on the Fort Leonard Wood hunting and fishing Web page requiring all recreational users to register at https://ftleonardwood.isportman.net.
Once that is done, users should:
-- Obtain free transitional permits, including an Outdoor Recreation Permit through the program.
-- Retain their valid hard-copy permits for the fall 2017 through Winter 2018 seasons, which can be obtained at the Outdoor Adventure Center.
-- Check in and check out of areas through iSportsman by website or telephone. The old electronic email system will no longer be used.
-- Legibly display their iSportsman Permit Number on their vehicle dashboard while recreating on post.
The data gathered by iSportsman can include things like fish and game harvests, the amount of use different hunting and fishing areas receive, tracking types of hunters or anglers -- including veterans or those with disabilities, for example -- and other conservation information.
Officials can also use the system to communicate with recreationists, including, for example, letting users know when an area is closed or reopens.
"There are lots of other little details that are nice for the users, to include maps, viewing occupancy (how many others are signed in to specific areas) and logging of user data," Lohraff said.
For more information about iSportsman, visit www.wood.army.mil/dptm/handf.htm or https://ftleonardwood.isportsman.net.