2022 gun-deer season set for Nov. 19-27 at Fort McCoy
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Nate Tucker and Nate Prairie, wildlife technicians under contract with the Directorate of Public Works Natural Resources Branch, record the weight and other information about a harvested deer Nov. 25, 2014, at a deer data collection station at Fort McCoy, Wis. The 2022 gun-deer season at Fort McCoy takes place Nov. 19-27, 2022. (U.S. Army Photo by Scott T. Sturkol, Public Affairs Office, Fort McCoy, Wis.) (Photo Credit: Scott Sturkol) VIEW ORIGINAL
2022 gun-deer season set for Nov. 19-27 at Fort McCoy
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Hunter Mitchell Wimmer stops for a photo with a buck he got opening day of gun-deer season Nov. 20, 2021, at Fort McCoy, Wis. Weber was among hundreds of successful hunters during the 2021 gun-deer hunting season at Fort McCoy. (U.S. Army Photo by Scott T. Sturkol, Public Affairs Office, Fort McCoy, Wis.) (Photo Credit: Scott Sturkol) VIEW ORIGINAL
2022 gun-deer season set for Nov. 19-27 at Fort McCoy
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Hunter Isaac Dammen stops for a photo with a buck he got opening day of gun-deer season Nov. 20, 2021, at Fort McCoy, Wis. Weber was among hundreds of successful hunters during the 2021 gun-deer hunting season at Fort McCoy. (U.S. Army Photo by Scott T. Sturkol, Public Affairs Office, Fort McCoy, Wis.) (Photo Credit: Scott Sturkol) VIEW ORIGINAL

Wisconsin and Fort McCoy’s 2022 nine-day gun-deer season will be held Nov. 19-27.

The hundreds of hunters who checked in and took to the woods at Fort McCoy in 2021 harvested just over 300 deer, said Wildlife Program Manager and Biologist Kevin Luepke with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.

The 2021 harvest was similar to previous years, Luepke said, and the 2022 harvest expectation will be similar as well at approximately 300-350 deer.

“Through our surveys that we’ve conducted throughout the summer, whether it was our staff out in the field doing observations or through an active survey program conducting spotlight and dusk surveys, we’ve determined our population level is about 20 to 25 deer per square mile and to maintain that we’ll need to harvest about 300-350 deer during this gun-deer season.”

For the 2022 gun-deer hunt, Luepke said the deer data collection point will again be in operation on South Post in the same location just off of Highway 21 as previous years. Biological data will be collected, chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling offered, and a dumpster will be available to discard any carcasses. Collected CWD samples will be sent to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and he encourages all successful hunters to have their deer tested.

“That biological data we collect at the station is important to evaluate the herd health and calculate the installation deer population,” Luepke said. We will also collect lymph nodes for chronic wasting disease testing.”

A total of 1,800 gun-deer permits and 1,200 hunters choice approvals were made available, but bonus tags are not available for this year’s season, Luepke said.

To participate in the gun-deer hunt at the installation, hunters must apply for a Fort McCoy gun-deer permit through the Fort McCoy iSportsman site, https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net, and then also purchase their permits through iSportsman if selected, Luepke said. Applications for the gun-deer hunt generally become available in late June every year and the application period has closed for this year. There are still a limited number of permits available on a first-come first-serve basis, and anyone interested should contact the Permit Sales Office for more information at 608-388-3337.

In addition, hunters coming to the installation must also have an annual Wisconsin gun-deer 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 Wisconsin gun-deer license for an adult resident is $24. Wisconsin offers some reduced pricing for gun-deer or combination permits based on categories such as first-time permit purchasers, for minors, for Purple Heart recipients, etc. See the Go Wild system for additional details.

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 iSportsman check-out process, Luepke said.

Fort McCoy’s deer population should continue to have many larger bucks available to hunters, as well, Luepke said.

“There’s definitely some big bucks that are calling Fort McCoy home,” Luepke said. “And you could be one of those lucky hunters that are able to harvest one, they are running around out there. Like I said, with us keeping our deer herd at those 20 to 25 deer per square mile, that really allows our population to be healthy, and a healthy population of deer will produce some mighty big antlers that our hunters are always seeming to be chasing these days.”

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 Physical Security. This includes the entirety of the federal land, including the training and housing areas.

Luepke also reminds hunters to review the Fort McCoy hunting regulations as changes have been made from previous years. More information about the regulations and about deer hunting at Fort McCoy can be found on the iSportsman website at https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net.

“And as far as deer hunting safety, remember what you have learned in hunter safety,” Luepke said. “Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded. Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction. Be sure of your target and what's in front of and beyond. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to fire. And just be safe and ethical.”

And for more about Wisconsin deer hunting regulations and safety, go to https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/hunt/regulations.

Learn more about deer hunting at Fort McCoy by visiting the installation iSportsman page at https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net. Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at https://www.dvidshub.net/fmpao, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”

Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.

(The Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch contributed to this article.)