HELENA — Wildlife officials say deer populations across much of Montana were largely unscathed by the brutal winter.
John Vore, game management bureau chief for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, tells the Helena Independent Record that in most parts of the state, winterkill was minimal. But deer in northwest Montana were worse off because of heavy snow.
Mule deer estimates put populations well above the 10-year average. Biologists think more than 363,000 mule deer roam the state, compared to an average of just under 283,000.
The latest statewide estimates for whitetail deer are also above the long-term average. The estimate based on surveys and harvest put Montana’s whitetail population at nearly 221,000, compared to the 10-year average of about 204,000.
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