R1: Hunter Success Picks Up in Northwest Montana
By angelamontana

Posted: November 19, 2019
Kalispell, MT — With two weeks left in Montana’s general hunting season, the percentage of hunters with harvested game is slightly ahead of last year in northwest Montana.Through four weekends of the season, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has tallied nearly 9,200 hunters at five big game check stations in Region 1. Among those hunters, FWP has recorded 620 white-tailed deer, including 479 bucks, as well as 81 mule deer and 46 elk. The overall percentage of hunters checked with harvested game is 8.1 percent, compared to 6 percent a year ago. The total number of white-tailed bucks reported at the check stations is 212 more than a year ago.

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.

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 Fourth Weekend, November 17, 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

 

3,886 3,952 250 182 202 102 29 34 18 12 7.6 5.8
 

Swan

 

1,172 1,328 90 81 78 49 2 0 3 2 8.1 6.3
 

Thompson

Falls

1,168 1,071 49 30 38 21 9 10 10 17 5.8 5.3
 

Olney

 

1,720 1,612 169 123 127 84 11 12 4 6 10.7 8.7
 

Canoe Gulch

 

1,235 1,147 62 20 34 11 30 8 11 9 8.3 3.2
 

Totals

 

9,181 9,110 620 436 479 267 81 64 46 46 8.1 6.0

 

R-1 CHECK STATION TRENDS

Through Fourth Weekend, November 17, 2019

Year Hunter #s Total WTD WT Bucks Mule Deer Elk
2010 10,474 399 318 87 79
2011 10,941 369 289 50 62
2012 10,381 421 364 61 56
2013 11,074 576 515 84 45
2014 10,442 582 500 104 37
2015 11,179 635 504 89 61
2016 10,188 761 483 109 58
2017 10,060 604 366 26 58
2018 9,110 436 267 64 46
2019 9,181 620 479 81 46