Fort McCoy holds 2022 Meet and Greet event for deer hunters at installation

A familiar face takes on the role of wildlife biologist at Fort McCoy

Kevin Luepke has just completed his first deer hunting season as the Fort McCoy Wildlife Program Manager and Wildlife Biologist with the Public Works Branch, Environment Division, Natural Resources Branch (NRB).

Luepke took office Oct. 1 — shortly after his longtime predecessor, Fort McCoy wildlife biologist David Beckmann, retired in late September. But Luepke is no stranger to Fort McCoy’s natural resource management environment.

Prior to his current position, he worked at the NRB as a natural resources specialist. In this position, he supported invasive plant species, wildlife, threatened and endangered species, and prescribed burn programs at Fort McCoy.

And before that, Luepke worked for many years with the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands at Colorado State University (CSU), which completes its work through a cooperative agreement directly supporting Fort McCoy’s natural and cultural resource programs.

“During my time with CSU, I worked on the field team for two years before moving into the position of field team leader, which I held for about nine to 10 years. I am became very familiar with Fort McCoy and its wildlife and invasive plant species,” Luepke said. and coordinating wildlife projects in coordination with Dave Beckmann. I then applied and was selected for my previous position with the NRB team.

Luepke is from Shawano, Wisconsin, where he graduated from high school in 2000. He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management in 2005.

“From an early age I loved being outdoors,” Luepke said. “When I needed to start thinking about a career field to pursue, I heard teachers, guidance counselors and others say ‘if you love your job, you’ll never ever work. of your life.” I knew I wanted to pursue a career in natural resources, specifically a career in wildlife management.

“During my time in Shawano and Stevens Point, I got used to the fairly flat terrain with occasional hills in the Wisconsin countryside,” Luepke said. “After moving to the Fort McCoy area in 2005, I fell in love with the Coulee area with its rugged ridges and beautiful cliffs.”

Luepke said protecting natural resources is important.

“The protection and conservation of natural resources is very important to me for many reasons, but the main reason is that even though many natural resources are renewable resources, they still need to be conserved and managed for future generations to enjoy. enjoy and use them,” he said.

Luepke said he also enjoys working with very experienced staff within the NRB.

“Through the years of working at Fort McCoy, I have come to know the staff of the Natural Resources Branch well,” Luepke said. “People within the NRB are still very team-oriented, easy to work with and very willing to pass on the knowledge they have accumulated over the years. The NRB team is very dedicated to protecting the installation’s natural resources and doing its part for the Fort McCoy team, which allows Fort McCoy to continue to provide many training opportunities for the Army and the Department of Defense.

Luepke said building on Beckmann’s achievements with the NRB is an honor, and he said he was grateful to have had his previous experience working with him.

During the 2022 deer season, Luepke helped coordinate all aspects of the nine-day season where the facility hosted its first Meet and Greet event at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area with hunters since 2019, and harvest of 464 deer was the highest in years. .

“I admit it was a little nerve-wracking during deer season, but it comes with the territory with something new,” Luepke said. “Making that first season disappear is HUGE! I love the work so far and I believe I will continue to do so.

“It was great to be able to chat with many hunters during the Meet and Greet as well as at the checkpoint on opening weekend,” Luepke said. “I’ve known many of these hunters for many years already, but it’s always nice to chat with some of them that I don’t know or are new to hunting on McCoy. I look forward to continuing my work with Fort McCoy hunters and natural resources.

Fort McCoy’s motto is “Total Force Training Center”. Located in the heart of the Upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only US Army installation in Wisconsin.

The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 service members of all services nearly every year since 1984.

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 for “usagmccoy”.

Date taken: 12.09.2022
Date posted: 12.09.2022 01:19
Story ID: 434817
Location: FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin, USA

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