Hunters across Northwest Montana were slightly more successful in the second to last week of the big game hunting season.
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks regional information, the percentage of hunters reporting game was 7.5 percent in the last week. That figure is up slightly from 6.8 percent the previous week.
The general season ends Nov. 26.
Fifty elk have come through check stations this year so far, which is similar to last year. Mule deer buck numbers are considerably lower than the previous years, with 43 mule deer bucks harvested at this point in the season, compared to 123 last year.
“Snow conditions are still making it a challenge” said Neil Anderson, regional wildlife manager.
According to Tim Thier, FWP biologist in the Eureka area, “hunters are looking for areas where the snow has melted, and walking is quieter; and are having pretty good success.”
As of the fifth weekend of the season, 9.8 percent of the hunters at the Olney check station have had game, the highest percentage in the region.
Starting Nov. 20, hunters can harvest an antlerless whitetail on a general license on private property only. This does not apply to corporate timber company lands. Except for HD170, harvest in the rest of the region is limited to antlered buck white-tailed deer, buck mule deer and brow-tine bull elk on a general tag.
Apprentice and youth hunters under the age of 16 can harvest antlerless whitetail deer on a general license all season long.