Nice weather has made for a slower start to season
By Hookemharry


The hunting success stories keep coming in every week and they’re gathering steam.

Hunting season started off a little slow for most hunters. Weather has been a factor, but the overcast rainy weather has helped recently. It makes walking and stalking quieter and the deer will start to rut if they aren’t already in Western Montana.

John Peterson, from H and H Wild Game Processing in Missoula, tells me that the number of deer he has taken in is now on par with last year. That number was off before last week. “The elk numbers are still pretty strong”, said Peterson.

If you remember, last year was an exceptional year for deer and elk hunters. According to the latest results in Region One in Northwest Montana, the count for harvested deer has now caught up with last year’s number at the Swan check station after lagging behind the first two weeks. Overall for the region, the numbers for whitetail and mule deer this year still trail 2007 with elk number being about the same as last year.

Deer and elk hunting conditions have not been ideal but there is still a lot of time left for that to happen. If the local area can receive a dumping of snow in the weeks ahead, I think that 2008 will end up with elk and deer hunters with their freezers full.

Each year poses a different situation with the weather. Last year, if you remember, the big storm came during the week of Thanksgiving. Up to that point, elk hunters were having a hard time finding elk.

Once the cold and snow set in, it moved the elk around and many hunters filled their tags on the long holiday weekend.

This year, we still have 18 hunting days left counting today. That’s plenty of time for Mother Nature to do her part in making this a great year, too.

Dale Manning of Missoula just had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Manning, who is an award-winning taxidermist by trade, will have a chance to become his own customer.

Manning drew a sheep tag in Hunting District 210 and on Saturday, Nov. 1, he shot a dandy ram. The measurements for the horn lengths are 41 inches by 40-7/8 inches. The bases measured 15 3/8. Manning said the ram green scored 185 2/8. You can view the ram and Manning by logging onto www.montanaoutdoor.com.

The milder weather has been a plus for anglers. There is still some good fishing on the local rivers and streams which will remain open until Nov. The fish seem to be more active and the bonus is the streams, rivers and lakes are not crowded at all.

Looking ahead for fisherman thinking about fishing the Governors Walleye Cup next year on Fort Peck Reservoir, you can now register. The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce announced the 2009 Governors’ Cup will take place July 9-11. The entry fee is $400 a team and you can reserve your teams spot with a $150 deposit. For more information, go towww.mtgovcup.com or call 406-228-2222.






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