This season’s deer harvest numbers improved compared to last year in Big Sky Country.
At the six northwest Montana check stations, biologists from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) documented an increase in the amount of whitetail deer harvested, as compared to last year’s numbers.
The season ended on Nov. 30, and 16,708 hunters stopped at the check stations to report their success in the field. Overall the harvest stats were: 1, 138 whitetail deer (988 of which were bucks), 139 mule deer, and 50 elk. The success rate was 7.9 percent, which is higher than last year’s rate of 7.1 percent.
Reports show that the number of hunters in northwest Montana was down nine percent from last year’s total. However, the Olney Station reported their highest-ever rate of hunters returning with game at 10.8 percent.
Wildlife Biologist Tim Thier, told reporters of the deer harvest results, claiming this to be the best season for bucks since 1994. Region 1 Supervisor Jim Williams also had some good news about the deer hunting season telling reporters the FWP has documented three good years of fawn survival in northwest Montana.
Williams also spoke of a new program this year, adding, the FWP will have the general land ownership location of the check station deer and elk-kill sample. These numbers will be totaled in the coming weeks and released to the public shortly.
The stats gathered were only a sampling of the hunters’ harvests, but it has given biologists an idea of how the season went overall. For more information and alerts visit the FWP website.
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