Although hunters this fall will not be allowed to use their general deer license to take antlerless mule deer in five northcentral Montana hunting districts, they still will be able to use their district specific deer B licenses for antlerless mule deer.
On Oct. 10, the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission approved an emergency change to the deer hunting rules for hunting districts 400, 401, 403, 404 and 406, all north of Great Falls.
In those districts, general deer licenses will only be valid for white-tailed and mule deer bucks. Previously, hunters could take either sex, either species.
Deer B licenses good for antlerless mule deer remain valid for the hunting districts for which they were issued. District specific mule deer B licenses were selected through a special drawing last summer.
Also, the Region 4 antlerless whitetail licenses remain valid throughout the entire region, except for HD 455.
The emergency change is due to a disease hitting white-tailed deer. Epizootic hemorrhagic disease, EHD, is currently widespread in Montana, including FWP Region 4. EHD primarily affects whitetails.
The Commission acted because of a concern that hunters in those five districts would find fewer whitetails and shift to hunting antlerless mule deer.
Landowners and sportsman have reported finding dead white-tailed deer throughout the districts since late July.
Hunters are always urged to read the regulations before going out.
(Report by Montana FWP; Cover photo: westernwild.org)