The large population of deer on Fort Leonard Wood means new opportunities for area bowhunters this year.
The Directorate of Public Works Natural Resources Branch recently announced a pilot program, the 2018 Fort Leonard Wood Archery Cantonment Hunt, which will include five archery deer hunts, each ranging from seven to nine days.
The program’s purpose is two-fold: to increase recreational opportunities for hunters while also managing the deer population to reduce human/wildlife conflicts. Fort Leonard Wood has documented nearly 200 traffic accidents involving deer since 2016. Wildlife officials note that higher deer populations also correspond to higher numbers of disease-spreading ticks, and also cause damage to trees, landscaping and gardens on post.
Six new areas will be opened to archery hunters within or adjacent to the cantonment.
Bowhunters will be selected by a random lottery process. Those selected will hunt in a specific block area during one of the five hunts. To register for the lottery, hunters will be required to sign in and apply on the Fort Leonard Wood iSportsman website at https://ftleonardwood. iSportsman.net.
The application period will remain open until 5 p.m. Tuesday. The official drawing will be held Wednesday.
There will be no additional cost for the cantonment hunt. All Missouri Dept. of Conservation seasons, bag limits, and regulations will apply.
Because this hunt is occurring in close proximity to urban areas, safety will be a priority. Special safety rules will apply.
Hunters selected in the lottery will be required to attend a cantonment hunt safety briefing at the Outdoor Adventure Center and sign a certification document attesting to their understanding of applicable safety rules and procedures.
Participating hunters should bring their deer to be checked in at the Outdoor Adventure Center.
The center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Special arrangements for checking deer outside normal OAC hours can be made by either calling the OAC at 573.596.4223 or the Natural Resources Branch at 573.596.0882.
Photos and biological data obtained will be used by natural resources biologists to better manage the deer population.
For more information about the hunts, contact the Natural Resources Branch at 573.596.0882.