Northwest Montana hunters wrapped up another successful big game season on Sunday.
At the six northwest Montana check stations through the end of the season on Sunday, November 27, a total of 17,656 hunters checked 1,494 white-tailed deer ( 1,069 of these were bucks), 146 mule deer, and 72 elk for an 9.7 percent rate of hunters with game. This is slightly higher than the 8.2 percent of hunters with game last year. The number of hunters passing through check stations in northwest Montana was down four percent.
The number of whitetail bucks checked this year (1,069) was nearly identical to last year (1,067). Both numbers were greater than harvests during the five previous seasons.
Region One Wildlife Manager Neil Anderson notes that FWP has been tracking several years of good fawn survival in northwest Montana, and the check station sample this year confirms that hunters were able to see and take good numbers of white-tailed deer despite mild hunting conditions. Elk numbers at the check stations were down slightly and mule deer numbers were up.
The counts at the six northwest Montana check stations represent a sampling of the harvest and do not represent the complete number of animals taken. Details of total harvest for each hunting district will be known after telephone hunter surveys are completed this winter.
Wolf harvest: Through the end of the general deer and elk season, hunters in northwest Montana Region One have taken 34 wolves. Statewide, 106 wolves have been taken. These totals are up slightly from last year at the end of the general deer and elk season. The wolf hunting season continues until March 15. Hunters can still purchase a wolf hunting license, but there is a 24-hour waiting period before it is valid. Wolf trapping begins on December 15. Wolf trappers must purchase a furbearer trapping license and have completed the wolf trapping certification course to trap wolves. The bag limit is 5 wolves per hunter/trapper in any combination of hunting or trapping.