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Big game harvest up from last year

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News from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

MONTANA — At the six northwest Montana check stations through Sunday, Nov. 2, a total of 5,589 hunters checked 281 white-tailed deer (235 of these were bucks), 54 mule deer, and 19 elk for a 6.3 percent rate of hunters with game. This compares to a 4.7 percent rate of hunters with game last year. 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.

FWP Biologist Chris Hammond notes that the number of whitetail deer brought through the check stations is up about 40 percent from last year, the number of mule deer is about the same, and the number of elk checked is down.

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 are required to report a wolf harvest to FWP within 24 hours. As of Nov. 3, a total of 13 wolves have been taken by hunters in northwest Montana Region One compared to 18 at this time last year. A total of 48 wolves have been taken statewide compared to 57 this time last year. Wolf hunters should check the current wolf hunting regulations before heading out to the field.

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