The general big game hunting season concluded last weekend across Montana, with wildlife officials tallying more than 14,000 hunters passing through its five check stations in this corner of the state.
According to figures from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, hunters in Region 1 reported 1,022 white-tailed deer, including 816 bucks, as well as 105 mule deer and 56 elk.
Despite fewer hunters than years’ past, the overall number of harvested deer was up over last year in the region. The percentage of hunters with harvested game increased over last year at U.S. Highway 2, Swan, Olney and Canoe Gulch (Libby) check stations.
Check stations are open on weekends during hunting season and only sample a small portion of hunter participation and harvests across the region. They help biologists track monitoring trends and record information on wildlife age, health and other observations from the field. Hunter-harvest telephone surveys, conducted over the upcoming winter months, will provide more harvest data and information.
Hunting season structures and hunting district boundaries are adopted for most game species every other year between December and final adoptions in February. The biennial season setting process is underway this year, and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will review tentative proposals and vote whether to open those proposals for public comment at its Dec. 5 meeting in Helena.
In Region 1, FWP is proposing hunting district boundary changes in the Flathead and Swan Valleys (Hunting Districts 130, 132, 140 and 170) and the Bob Marshall.