This year, fewer hunters harvested antelope, in south central Montana, during the opening weekend of rifle season.
FWP biologists gathered information about pronghorn antelope from check stations at Big Timber, Broadview and Billings this past Saturday and Sunday.
According to FWP, the opening-weekend harvest was the smallest since at least 1991.
“It was apparent that the die-off associated with the blue tongue outbreak of 2007 and low fawn-doe ratios for the past five years will affect antelope numbers for several years to come,” said Ashley Beyer, a FWP wildlife biologist.
Here are the stats:
- At Broadview, 199 hunters harvested 54 antelope. That’s down from 204 hunters with 89 antelope in 2011.
- At Big Timber, 324 hunters harvested 165 antelope. Last year, 343 hunters killed 221 antelope.
- At Billings, 114 hunters harvested 45 antelope. During opening weekend in 2011, 163 hunters harvested 46 antelope.
One thing that stayed consistent, at all the check stations, were the muddy roads, on Saturday, after the first real precipitation of the summer. Then on Sunday, sun and wind dried the roads and hunting conditions were near perfect.
To read the full report from FWP, click here.