R5: Northwest Montana Deer Harvest Remains Steady Entering Final Week
By angelamontana

Posted: November 25, 2019
Kalispell, MT — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has checked more than 11,600 hunters in northwest Montana so far this season, and the percentage of hunters with harvested big game is ahead of last year.Overall harvest numbers are up for white-tailed and mule deer compared to last year, according to reports at five regional check stations. So far, FWP has checked hunters with 860 white-tailed deer, including 691 bucks, and 93 mule deer. The number of reported elk – 50 – is two behind last year’s tally.

Check stations are open on weekends during hunting season. The counts at the stations represent a sampling of the harvest and do not represent the complete number of animals taken. Hunters must stop at all check stations that they pass, even if they have not harvested any animals.

The general big game season runs through Sunday, Dec. 1.

FWP reminds hunters to review the regulations for specific rules in each hunting district.

In hunting districts 122 and 130, general hunters can no longer harvest antlerless white-tailed deer the first week or the last week of the season, regardless of land ownership. Youth 12-15 years old and those with a permit to hunt from the vehicle are still allowed to harvest an antlerless whitetail in those hunting districts. Only B license holders can harvest antlerless deer in those districts.

Hunters are reminded that mule deer buck hunting in the North Fisher portion of Hunting District 103 near Libby is permit-only. See legal description in regulations and legal district booklet.

Elk hunting is brow-tined bull only in Region 1. Spike elk are not legal game.

FWP has detected chronic wasting disease in the Libby area, and hunters need to be aware of the Libby CWD Management Zone, which includes portions of HDs 100, 103 and 104. All deer, elk and moose harvested within the Libby CWD Management Zone must be checked and sampled within three days of harvest.

During general big game season, the Libby Special CWD Hunt Sampling Station, located at the Montana Department of Transportation shop on US Hwy 2, mile marker 35, will be open every day from 11 a.m. – 1½ hours after sunset. Hunters are only required to stop at the Sampling Station if they harvested an animal.

FWP issued 600 antlerless white-tailed deer licenses that are only eligible within the Libby CWD Management Zone during the archery and general deer seasons.

For more information about CWD, visit fwp.mt.gov/cwd.

Hunters are reminded to “Be Bear Aware” and properly store food and carcasses. Hunters should avoid hanging carcasses near houses or garages. Carcasses must be suspended at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet out from any upright support. Hunters are encouraged to carry bear spray and know how to use it. More food storage and safety information are available on the FWP website, fwp.mt.gov.

Residents can call Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks regional office for more information. In northwest Montana, call (406) 752-5501.

 

FWP REGION ONE CHECK STATION SUMMARY

Through Fifth Weekend, November 24, 2019

 

STATION NUMBER

HUNTERS

WHITE-TAILED

DEER

 

WT

Bucks

MULE

DEER

ELK %

HUNTERS

WITH GAME

2019 2018 2019 2018 2019 2018 2019 2018 2019 2018 2019 2018
 

Hwy 2

 

4,817 4,853 348 243 287 149 35 36 19 12 8.3 6.1
 

Swan

 

1,621 1,772 134 106 116 73 2 0 3 2 8.6 6.1
 

Thompson

Falls

1,429 1,361 67 45 55 31 9 15 12 23 6.2 6.1
 

Olney

 

2,183 2,093 228 162 183 117 15 14 4 6 11.3 8.7
 

Canoe Gulch

 

1,554 1,495 83 27 50 18 32 14 12 9 8.2 3.3
 

Totals

 

11,604 11,574 860 583 691 388 93 82 50 52 8.6 6.2

 

 

R-1 CHECK STATION TRENDS

Through Fifth Weekend, November 24, 2019

Year Hunter #s Total WTD WT Bucks Mule Deer Elk
2010 13,142 696 587 110 110
2011 13,873 589 483 67 85
2012 13,099 589 516 96 64
2013 14,176 821 746 99 51
2014 13,239 856 748 118 42
2015 14,260 910 746 110 76
2016 13,247 1,101 784 123 62
2017 12,926 861 592 40 70
2018 11,574 583 388 82 52
2019 11,604 860 691 93 50