A deer roam the Flathead Reservation.

Whitetail Harvest up in Northwest Montana
By Moosetrack Megan


Hunters took to the field Saturday and Sunday across northwest Montana for the opening weekend of the general deer and elk season.  At the six northwest Montana check stations, a total of 3,361   hunters checked 350 white-tailed deer (159 of these were bucks), 27 mule deer, and 31 elk for a 12.1 percent rate of hunters with big game.  This harvest rate was double the rate from last year’s opening weekend.

 

Total numbers of hunters through R1 check stations was the highest it’s been since 2010.  According to FWP Region One Wildlife Manager Neil Anderson, white-tailed deer harvest was up largely due to the ability of hunters to harvest an antlerless white-tail on a general hunting license.  Nearly one-half of the hunters harvesting a white-tailed deer harvested an antlerless deer, and of those harvesting an antlerless deer most used their general license.   White-tail buck harvest was also up this year, being the highest since 2010 for an opening weekend.   Elk and mule deer harvest was also up compared to the last two years.

 

“Overall it was a great opening weekend,” said Anderson.  “We had a lot of hunters in the field and a high percentage of them were filling tags.   White-tail numbers are up across the region and hunters are taking advantage of the option to harvest an antlerless deer.”

 

Anderson reminds hunters that the ability to harvest an antlerless white-tail deer on a general A-tag ends after this Friday.  Starting Saturday, October 29th, only antlered white-tailed deer may be harvested on a general license in most hunting districts. Youth hunters 15 years of age and younger, and people with disabilities permitted to hunt from a vehicle, can take antlerless white-tailed deer through the end of the season.

 

Hunters are reminded that elk hunting is brow-tined bull only and spike elk are not legal game.  These regulations apply in most Region One hunting districts.  Hunters are encouraged to check the Montana hunting regulations for the district you plan to hunt before heading out to the field.

 

Hunters are also reminded to be bear-aware and properly store food and manage carcasses properly both in the field and at home.

 

Attached: Region One Check Station Summary…

 

 

—fwp—

 

REGION ONE CHECK STATION SUMMARY

OPENING Weekend – October 22 & 23, 2016

 

STATION NUMBER

HUNTERS

WHITE-TAILED

DEER

 

WT

Bucks

MULE

DEER

ELK %

HUNTERS

WITH GAME

  2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015
 

Hwy 2

 

1437 1270 145 56 65 35 14 10 13 16 12.0 6.5
 

Swan

 

343 440 56 20 25 10 0 1 0 1 16.3 5.0
 

North

Fork

223 214 8 6 2 1 1 1 0 0 4.0 3.3
 

Thompson

Falls

455 458 35 21 15 13 6 1 14 6 12.1 6.1
 

Olney

 

446 430 82 48 42 36 1 1 1 0 18.8 11.4
 

Canoe Gulch

 

457 398 24 7 10 7 5 4 3 0 7.0 2.8
 

Totals

 

3361 3210 350 158 159 102 27 18 31 23 12.1 6.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R-1 CHECK STATION TRENDS

OPENING Weekend

Year Hunter #s Total WTD WT Bucks Mule Deer Elk
2010 3,158 136 95 25 31
2011 3,174 114 83 14 22
2012 2,879 129 105 11 18
2013 2,900 85 66 16 17
2014 3,154 150 123 33 11
2015 3,210 158 102 18 23
2016 3,361 350 159 27 31