Closing General Season Weekend Mixed – Record Elk Harvest in Ennis Area
(Bozeman)—Even with fair weather conditions, the final weekend of the general hunting season was mixed in southwestern Montana, with the Butte and Ennis areas still seeing an above average harvest, but other places noting below average success rates for deer and elk hunters.
Harvest in Ennis continued an above average trend and spiked higher than recent closing weekend averages. Hunter success rate was 19.4 percent, with 83 elk, 13 mule deer, and six white-tailed deer checked.
Total elk checked through Ennis’s Cameron station this season was 350, which is a new record for the Cameron station. Total mule deer checked was 76, which is the highest number checked since 1994.
A total of 219 hunters visited the Alder check station over closing weekend, and of these, 63 harvested game, including 48 elk, 15 mule deer bucks, and three white-tailed deer. The resulting hunter success rate was 29 percent.
The Gallatin check station recorded below average hunter numbers and harvest rates. Four elk and one mule deer were checked, and only 3.9 percent of hunters had game.
At the Divide check station, staff checked 22 elk, 10 mule deer, and one white-tailed deer. Hunter success was 12.8 percent, which is 9 percent higher than the five-year average for weekend No. 6. Hunter numbers were 16 percent higher than the five-year average.
The Mill Creek check station only operated on Saturday, Nov. 28. None of the 33 hunters that visited this station had game.
A check station east of Townsend checked 104 elk, 42 white-tailed deer, and 25 mule deer. These animals came from 21 different hunting districts in regions 3, 4, 5, and 7. Six of these animals were harvested on U.S. Forest Service land. A total of 461 hunters visited the station, and 32.1 percent of them had game. This station has not been operated in past years.
The Silver City check station operated over the closing weekend and checked 281 hunters, eight elk, three mule deer, and four white-tailed deer. Approximately five percent of hunters had game.
The general season closed on Sunday, Nov. 29.