Deer Harvest Steady in Northwest Montana Despite Fewer Hunters

By Beacon Staff

With less than two weeks remaining in the general hunting season, harvest numbers in Northwest Montana appear to have increased over last year despite the number of hunters dropping slightly, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks check station surveys.

At six Northwest Montana check stations through Nov. 11, a total of 11,094 hunters have checked 425 white-tail deer, including 368 bucks, 64 mule deer and 58 elk, equaling a 4.9 percent success rate. That’s a slight increase over last year’s success rate of 4.2 percent.

The number of white-tail bucks checked is up 25 percent and mule deer are up 23 percent. Elk are down 9 percent compared to last year’s check station results at the same point in the season. The number of hunters appears to be down 6 percent so far.

The check station surveys represent a sampling of the harvest and do not represent the complete number of animals taken.

The general big game hunting season ends Nov. 25.

FWP is reminding hunters that only white-tail bucks can be harvested in Region 1. Antlerless whitetails remain legal game for youth 12-15 years of age and some qualifying 11-year olds. Mule deer are buck-only for the entire season. Elk are brow-tine bull only. Spike bull elk are not legal game for any hunter in Region 1.

FWP recommends hunters refer to the hunting regulations for the hunting district they plan to hunt.

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