See below for the FWP Region 4 report for the fifth weekend of Montana’s general rifle season:
Elk, Whitetail Harvest Up, Mule Deer Down on Rocky Mountain Front
At the end of the fourth weekend of Montana’s big game general season, harvest numbers for elk and white-tailed deer continue above average on the Rocky Mountain Front, while mule deer numbers are below the long-term average.
“The harvest remains similar to the rest of the season,” says Brent Lonner, Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist.
The numbers were collected at FWP’s Augusta check station– the department’s sole Region 4 biological check station – and apply only to a handful of hunting districts on the Rocky Mountain Front, but they often mirror conditions elsewhere in north central Montana.
Elk hunters so far have brought in 371 animals (101 bulls, 224 cows and 46 calves) compared to the 10-year average of 217 elk.
That increase over the long-term average is mostly due to hunters with elk B licenses taking 112 antlerless elk from hunting district 425, which includes the Sun River Wildlife Management Area, Lonner says.
Mule deer at the check station have numbered 192 (170 bucks, 21 does and one fawn). The 10-year average is 275 animals.
White-tailed deer numbers stand at 210 (113 bucks, 76 does and 21 fawns), while the 10-year average is 191.
Hunter participation is up slightly at 19 percent above the long-term average, with approximately one out of four hunters taking game, Lonner says.
The general deer and elk season runs through Nov. 25.