At the six northwest Montana check stations through Sunday, November 9, a total of 8,095 hunters checked 428 whitetail deer (342 of these were bucks), 74 mule deer, and 28 elk for a 6.5 percent rate of hunters with game. Harvest was up as compared to last year when 5.2 percent of hunters checked game. The number of whitetail bucks checked is up 26 percent, mule deer numbers are about the same, and elk numbers are down 22 percent as compared to last year’s check station results at the same point in the season. Hunter numbers are down 7 percent.
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.
Wildlife Manager Jim Williams noted that strong numbers of younger bucks continue to show up at the check stations. “We anticipate seeing the older bucks come through check stations over the next few weekends,” he said. Williams added that despite the soggy conditions on Sunday, hunters were successful and appeared to be having fun.
Hunters are reminded that it is buck-only for whitetails in northwest Montana. Antlerless whitetails remain legal game for youth 12-15 years of age (and some qualifying 11-year olds, see regulations). 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 One. Hunters should refer to the hunting regulations for the hunting district they plan to hunt.
Wolf Harvest: Hunters have taken 13 wolves in Region One to date. Statewide, hunters have taken 54 wolves. This is a complete count of the number of wolves taken as of November 10.