Both the regular archery/crossbow and cantonment archery seasons began at Fort McCoy on Sept. 16 at the same time as the opening of the Wisconsin archery season.
The seasons run from Sept. 16-Nov. 16 and Nov. 27-Jan. 3, 2018.
“There’s a break in the archery seasons for the gun-deer season, which is Nov. 18-26 this year,” said wildlife biologist David Beckmann with the Natural Resources Branch of the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division. “During the gun-deer season, no archery hunting is allowed, including on the cantonment area.”
The installation awarded tags to 185 archers for the cantonment archery season who were picked through a drawing earlier in the year, Beckmann said. Each was awarded two antlerless tags.
“The cantonment archery rules are different than for regular archery/crossbow hunters,” Beckmann said. “For example, crossbows are not allowed to be used for cantonment archery − just regular compound or recurve bows are allowed.”
Also, if archery hunters are one of those who were selected for a cantonment archery tag and also want to be able to hunt areas outside of the cantonment area, they will have to purchase a separate Fort McCoy regular archery tag.
“The Fort McCoy regular archery permits are not part of a drawing like the cantonment archery and gun-deer licenses are,” Beckmann said. “Cantonment archery tags are for cantonment archery only, so if you want to archery hunt outside the cantonment area, you will have to purchase that separate regular archery permit.”
A Fort McCoy archery permit and a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources bow or crossbow hunting license are required to hunt on Fort McCoy for regular archery/crossbow, Beckmann said. Harvest is limited to one deer (antlered or antlerless) with the appropriate DNR carcass tag.
For cantonment archery hunters, an antlered deer can be harvested only after two antlerless/spike deer have been harvested, Beckmann said. The earn-a-buck authorization will be issued through the Permit Sales Office after confirmation that two antlerless/spike deer have been harvested in the cantonment area. Any antlered deer harvested must be tagged using the DNR archery buck tag.
When hunting with both bow and crossbow, archery hunters must have the appropriate Wisconsin bow/crossbow license upgrade.
“The upgrade allows for use of either; otherwise you have to choose between just using a bow or just using a crossbow,” Beckmann said.
Regular Wisconsin archery licenses $24 for resident archery and $24 for resident crossbow. An upgrade on either license is $3. The Fort McCoy regular archery/crossbow permit is $17, and the cantonment archery permit is $13.
People who have more questions on appropriate licensing requirements for Fort McCoy can get answers by visiting the Fort McCoy i-Sportsman page or by calling the Permit Sales Office at 608-388-3337. For Wisconsin archery rules and regulations, visit dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/WM0431.pdf.
Beckmann said that annually approximately 600 archery permits are purchased for Fort McCoy, and hunters have had a success rate of around 20 percent.
“We are averaging 34-36 deer per square mile,” Beckmann said. “That tells us there are plenty of deer for hunters out there, and we wish them the best success possible.”
Hunters are also reminded that use of any tree stands or blinds must be temporary and must be taken down each day. Also, if hunters succeed in tagging a deer, that deer must be registered with Wisconsin and can be done online through the DNR Go Wild website.
Antlerless archery bonus deer tags for Fort McCoy became available for purchase starting Sept. 11 through the DNR GoWild licensing system at a cost of $12. One tag per customer is allowed.
Fort McCoy offers hunting, fishing, and trapping opportunities to military (active and retired) and their dependents, government employees, and the general public. Revenue generated from the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping permits is used for the management of fish and wildlife habitat and populations on Fort McCoy.