Deer Harvest Slightly Higher than Last Year in Northwest Montana
By rowdyrob


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                November 30, 2015

Deer Harvest Slightly Higher than Last Year in Northwest Montana as Season Ends

Whitetail deer harvest finished ahead of last year’s totals as the season wrapped up on Sunday in northwest Montana.

 

At the six northwest Montana check stations through the end of the season on Sunday, November 29, a total of 18,411 hunters checked  1,294 white-tailed deer ( 1,067 of these were bucks), 125 mule deer, and 86 elk for an  8.2 percent rate of hunters with game. This is slightly higher than the 7.9 percent of hunters with game last year. The number of hunters passing through check stations in northwest Montana was the highest it’s been since 2011.

 

The counts at the six northwest Montana check stations represent a sampling of the harvest and do not represent the complete number of animals taken. Details of total harvest for each hunting district will be known after telephone hunter surveys are completed this winter.

 

The Thompson Falls check station had an exceptional end to the season.  According to Bruce Sterling, the biologist in the Thompson Falls area, “We had a great day at the Thompson Falls Check Station on the last day of the season.  Almost one in every four hunters was successful with most harvesting whitetail bucks ranging from spikes to a big seven point!  The whitetail buck harvest was up 42% when compared to the five-year average and 33% higher than last year.”

 

Region One Wildlife Manager Neil Anderson notes that FWP has been tracking four years of good fawn survival in northwest Montana and the check station sample this year confirms that hunters were able to see and take good numbers of deer, despite some challenging hunting conditions.   Elk harvest was also higher this year with 86 elk coming through check stations compared to 50 last year.

 

Wolf harvest: Through the end of the general deer and elk season, hunters in northwest Montana have taken 26 wolves.  Statewide, 90 wolves have been taken. These totals are up slightly from last year at the end of the general deer and elk season. The wolf hunting season continues until March 15.  Hunters can still purchase a wolf hunting license, but there is a 24-hour waiting period before it is valid.  Wolf trapping begins on December 15.  Wolf trappers must purchase a furbearer trapping license and have completed the wolf trapping certification course to trap wolves.  The bag limit is 5 wolves per hunter/trapper in any combination of hunting or trapping.

—Check station results attached—

 

REGION ONE CHECK STATION SUMMARY

WEEK FIVE – Through November 29, 2015, end of season

 

STATION NUMBER

HUNTERS

WHITE-TAILED

DEER

 

WT

Bucks

MULE

DEER

ELK %

HUNTERS

WITH GAME

  2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014
 

Hwy 2

 

7,564 6,251 526 476 431 405 50 53 30 13 8.0 8.7
 

Swan

 

2,647 2,638 157 176 134 156 5 3 5 2 6.3 6.9
 

North

Fork

1,048 1,065 61 38 48 32 5 9 2 1 6.5 4.5
 

Thompson

Falls

2,068 1,992 175 125 136 102 13 13 33 20 10.7 7.9
 

Olney

 

2,728 2,616 298 259 250 231 14 22 4 2 11.6 10.8
 

Canoe Gulch

 

2,356 2,146 77 64 68 62 38 39 12 12 5.4 5.4
 

Totals

 

18,411 16,708 1,294 1,138 1,067 988 125 139 86 50 8.2 7.9

 

 

 

 

 

R-1 CHECK STATION TRENDS

Through WEEK FIVE—end of season

Year Hunter #s Total WTD WT Bucks Mule Deer Elk
2010 17,564 1,055 888 159 158
2011 18,561 911 753 103 121
2012 17,635 941 830 131 78
2013 18,262 1,112 985 134 56
2014 16,708 1,138 988 139 50
2015 18,411 1,294 1,067 125 86





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