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White-tailed deer, elk harvest numbers up

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News from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks


WESTERN MONTANA — White-tailed deer harvest rebounded this weekend after a small slump and elk harvest in northwest Montana is up as compared to last year, according to check station results around Region One.

At the six northwest Montana check stations through Sunday, Nov. 15, a total of 11,891 hunters checked 669 white-tailed deer (528 of these were bucks), 93 mule deer, and 61 elk for a 6.9 percent rate of hunters with game.

Overall, harvest was up somewhat as compared to last year when 6.2 percent of hunters checked game. Elk harvest is up 60 percent.  Hunter numbers are up 6 percent as compared to last year.

According to FWP Region One Supervisor Neil Anderson, the deer harvest should continue at a good pace.

“Despite a relatively mild weekend, hunters were still finding game, and we are starting to see more mature bucks come through the check stations. With cooler temperatures, snow forecasted for early in the week, and the rut getting into full swing, hunters should have an advantage over the next two weeks,” he said.

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.

Hunters are reminded that it is buck-only for whitetails in most hunting districts in northwest Montana. Antlerless whitetails remain legal game for youth 12-15 years of age (and some qualifying 10- and 11-year-olds). 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 20 wolves in Region One to date.  Statewide, hunters have taken 71 wolves (as compared to 66 last year). This is a complete count of the number of wolves reported taken as of Nov. 16.

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