Are Changes In Montana’s Mule Deer Season Structures Needed?
By Toby Trigger

Posted: January 27, 2018

As Mule Deer Numbers Continue to Struggle Across the Country Are Changes Needed?

A recent proposal written to the Montana FWP Commissioners by Jess Wagner of Lewiston, MT suggests that declines in the quality of public land mule deer hunting must eventually be addressed.  The Proposal titled: “Proposal to Revise Deer Season” states that “More of the same type of management will just continue the downward spiral that we are seeing now.”

The proposal dated January 8. 2018 proposes that the general season begin one week earlier and also end two weeks earlier.  The result of such a change would greatly benefit mule deer bucks according to the proposal.

The reason given for the positive impact of implementing this proposal is due to the decrease in hunting pressure during the rut which generally begins during the latter two weeks of the current general season.

The proposal goes on to suggest that such a change could be done on a 3-5 year experimental basis and then re-evaluated to see the effect that it has.

In contrast to Montana’s lengthy deer season structure many other states either limit or don’t allow hunting during the rut according to the proposal.

What are your thoughts about the necessity of changes regarding Montana’s general big game season structure? Are mule deer numbers on the decline or are they just pushed onto private lands as public land access is decreased? If Mule deer numbers are stable but populations are shifting due to hunting pressure will a change in season structure improve the number of deer on public lands?

Let us know what you think.

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