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Montana hunting season hits halfway point

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News from MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks

KALISPELL — Montana’s general hunting season is hitting the midway point and the overall harvest is expected to increase with the onset of the deer breeding season in the coming weeks.

So far this season, more than 4,500 hunters have appeared at regional game check stations. The overall number of hunters with harvested white-tailed deer is up so far compared to last year while the number of hunters with harvested mule deer and elk is slightly down. 

Montana’s general deer and elk hunting season runs from Oct. 22-Nov. 27.

The deer breeding season, known as the “rut,” typically begins in early-to-mid November. The arrival of winter weather can also bode well for hunters as snow cover improves the ability to track animals.

“Hunter harvest is expected to keep improving with the onset of mating activity among deer,” FWP Regional Wildlife Manager Neil Anderson said.

Harsh winter weather has arrived in northwest Montana with heavy snowfall and single-digit temperatures. Hunters should be prepared for changing and challenging conditions. Preparation and the right items (i.e. first aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, fire-starting equipment) are keys to avoiding a bad experience in the outdoors.

Mandatory check stations are open on weekends during general deer and elk hunting season from 10 a.m. to approximately 1.5 hours past sunset. The regional stations are located at U.S. Highway 2 West of Kalispell, Montana Highway 83 north of Swan Lake, Highway 200 west of Thompson Falls, and Highway 93 near Olney.

Hunters must stop at any check station they encounter whether they harvested an animal or not. The counts at the stations represent a sampling of the harvest and do not represent the complete number of animals taken.


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