Regarded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a very experienced hunter, Scott Kirchoff has found himself a way to enjoy his passion for whitetail hunting throughout the year. The Watertown Daily Times reports that Kirchoff is solely responsible for reducing the whitetail numbers in and around the Watertown Municipal Airport, in an effort to make it a safer location for planes to land.
Since August of 2014, Kirchoff has taken 22 deer from the property, and the experienced hunter expresses his commitment to safety while doing what he loves.
“I’m very particular about the shots I take, and I’ve passed up many more shots than I’ve taken. I don’t shoot unless I have a safe backstop,” he told the Watertown Daily Times. “To date most of the shots have been one-shot kills with the deer dropping in their tracks.”
In recent years, deer and other wildlife have been a growing concern for the airport and passenger safety came to the attention of the President of Wisconsin Aviation, Jeff Baum when a couple of deer darted onto the runway ahead of him while he was attempting to safely land a plane.
“It was a fairly sizable corporate airplane, and the deer caused over $50,000 worth of damage,” Baum said. “We’ve had at least two other aircraft that I know of that have hit deer out here.”
Krys Brown, the facilities manager at the municipal airport, took the lead on finding a suitable and safe solution to the problem. She started by contacting the Wisconsin DNR and applied for wildlife damage tags and also used the DNR to vet Scott Kirchoff in her search for the right candidate for the job.
“Dan, one of our employees who knows Scott, referred him as a very experienced deer hunter,” Brown said. “I talked to the DNR regarding him and they highly recommended him as well, so I thought it would be safer to have one professional person to rely on to help get rid of the deer.”
Mr. Kirchoff came as a highly-regarded recommendation with over four decades of hunting experience and the award of Instructor of the Year by the Wisconsin DNR in 2013 to his credit.
Each and every deer that is killed on the site is properly utilized. Some of the deer are given to airport employees and their friends and family, while others are used in Kirchoff’s “Learning to Hunt for Food” classes. His classes informatively instruct new hunters on how to properly skin and butcher deer and a variety of other game animals native to Wisconsin.
“Several deer were used by myself and the DNR for these classes,” Kirchoff said. “One of the local deer processors was gracious enough to let me use his walk-in cooler in the middle of summer, and we were able to bring the class out there for a butchering demonstration.”
When Kirchoff is not volunteering his time shooting the problematic deer at the airport, he works full-time as a trouble-shooter for an electric utility in the state.