FWP has scheduled a special archery-only hunt for property in and around Roundup to reduce the number of mule deer in town. Special tags for the hunt go on sale on a first-come first-served basis starting at 5 a.m. Oct. 1, 2020, online and at license dealers.
FWP has issued 120 either-sex mule deer hunting licenses specifically for the Roundup management season at $10 each for residents and $75 each for non-residents. The season will run from Nov. 7, 2020, through Feb. 15, 2021. Each hunter is limited to two special Roundup licenses. This year the special Roundup licenses do not count toward a hunter’s limit of seven deer “B” licenses.
The tags are valid only for the special Roundup season and on specific properties in and around Roundup. Hunters must hold a current Montana conservation license, base hunting license and bow-and-arrow license.
In addition, hunters must obtain permission from the Roundup city offices, 34 3rd Ave. W., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The city may assign hunters to appropriate sites.
Because of the proximity to homes and businesses, hunters are restricted to archery equipment.
The hunt will take place on property owned by the City of Roundup, Musselshell County, Irene Snortland and Green Oil Field Service. Maps detailing the hunt area and rules are available at the Roundup city offices.
Hunters are required to bag and properly dispose of the deer viscera and report their harvest to the Roundup city offices at 406-323-2804.
For the past six years, FWP offered a similar hunt in and around Roundup. Last fall 120 either-sex mule deer licenses were sold to 70 individuals. Forty individuals purchased two licenses each and 30 individuals purchased one license each. Six nonresidents purchased ten licenses and successfully harvested two bucks and one doe. Of the remaining 110 licenses held by residents, 82 licenses were purchased by people from Billings, Roundup, Laurel, Shepherd, Worden, Ballantine, Rapelje, Molt and Huntley. This is the same as the proportion of resident licenses sold in 2018 to people from the same local areas. The remaining resident licenses were purchased by individuals living as far away as Noxon.
In 2018, the 120 special licenses were sold to 75 individuals who harvested eight does and 10 bucks. In 2017, hunters filled 18 of the available 120 tags.
City of Roundup and Musselshell County officials reported that, since the special hunts started, they have noticed fewer complains of vehicle/deer collisions and aggressive deer in town.
Here is a map of the areas open to hunting during the special Roundup deer season:
(feature photo via Cornell University)