Elk hunting lottery held for active duty military, veterans at Fort Sill
FORT SILL, Okla. (KSWO) - Friday active-duty military members and veterans got their names drawn in a lottery for elk and deer hunts at Fort Sill.
“The opportunity is great, the way it’s managed is absolutely superb and who could do better than being out here in our hills and our range. It’s just awesome to watch the sun come up and go down. Even if you don’t harvest something, it’s still good,” said Army Veteran Willie Sego.
“It’s all about opportunities, it’s about getting out of the house and getting in the outdoors, really it’s not about killing or harvesting anything, it’s just about getting out, clearing the mind and just experiencing and taking it all in,” said Gunnery Sgt. Cody Morgan.
Each year, active duty military and veterans get the chance to enter the hunting lottery. Friday, 150 names were drawn to hunt deer and just 26 people will get to hunt an elk.
“Let me put it in context in the value of an elk. The State of Oklahoma auctioned off an either sex hunt on Fort Sill. They raised $50,000. The interest is enormous. The value of the opportunity to hunt these is enormous and if you try to go outside of Fort Sill to go to private land, it’s hard to get,” said Supervisory Natural Resources Administrator Chris Deurmyer.
They do these hunts to control the population and protect the habitat, but also to ensure training isn’t interrupted by overpopulation.
“We want to make sure we’re not having a negative impact to training. Sometimes you get to a big animal like elk, you want to make sure you manage the population so it doesn’t grow to a point where it could be a problem with training,” Deurmyer said.
While doing that, the hunts also bring past generations and various military branches together.
“It brings us all together, it brings Marines, Army, Air Force, all of us active duty military members together to kind of build friendship and build that bond and family with each other. It brings those old vets out here to pass down some good knowledge and good tradition down from them and you learn from everybody,” Morgan said.
The money raised from these hunts goes back into helping put future hunts on. It also allows them to do things like put on the annual fishing derby for kids.
If you are active duty or a veteran and want to learn more, you can call Sportsman Services at (580) 442 – 3553 to get the process started.
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