Hundreds of hunters found success during the 2020 gun-deer season at Fort McCoy held Nov. 21-29.There were more than 1,200 hunters who signed in and took to the woods at Fort McCoy, harvesting just under 300 deer during the post’s 2020 nine-day gun-deer season.“The season went well, and I am pleased with the harvest results,” said Wildlife Biologist David Beckmann with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch (NRB). “The number of hunters who participated, based on our iSportsman check-in data, in 2020 was down 5 percent from 2019. The snow that came through on Tuesday (Nov. 24) resulted in less hunters for the day and also a lower harvest for that day than what is typically seen on the fourth day of the season compared to past years.”Beckmann said due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, hunters were given the option to not bring their deer to the data collection point if they could or would not follow mask use and social distancing requirements.“Around 100 deer were brought to the station to collect deer ages and biological data,” Beckmann said. “This data is important to evaluate the herd health and calculate the installation deer population. We also collected lymph nodes for CWD testing which are sent to the DNR for analysis.”Some big bucks were taken during the season as well.“Even with the smaller number of people coming through the checkpoint, we still saw some decent-sized bucks coming through,” Beckmann said. “Some large eight- and 10-point bucks and some even bigger were taken.”Beckmann said the annual hunt is important in helping to control the deer population on post.“The deer harvest goal this year was between 300 and 350 deer, and I think we were right on target to effectively manage our deer population,” Beckmann said. “This year we awarded approximately 1,800 hunting permits and nearly 1,400 were purchased.”No bonus tags are were available for the season.“The deer population has been within our overwinter population goal for the past few years, and we didn’t need to use the bonus tags to increase the overall harvest,” Beckmann said.Fort McCoy hunters didn’t need to register their harvested deer with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), but they did need to register any harvested deer through the check-out process on iSportsman. Fort McCoy reports harvest totals to the WDNR after the season is completed.The 2020 season also was the second straight season that gun-deer hunting permits, and accompanying harvest authorization, were purchased through iSportsman. The established gun-deer permit harvest authorization allowed the hunters to still use their WDNR harvest authorization outside of the installation.For more information about hunting on Fort McCoy, call the Permit Sales Office at 608-388-3337, or go online to https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net.For more information on hunting in Wisconsin, go online to the WDNR page at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt.