R3: MIXED HUNTER SUCCESS CONTINUES IN SOUTHWEST MONTANA AS GENERAL HUNTING SEASON ENTERS THIRD WEEK
By angelamontana

Posted: November 9, 2022

BOZEMAN – Montana’s general deer and elk hunting season is now in its third week, and hunters continue to see varied success in southwestern Montana.

Wildlife biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks operated game check stations on Nov. 5 and 6 in three locations: Divide, Alder and Cameron. In total, they met with 846 hunters.

Biologists use check stations to collect data on hunter participation and success, as well as the species, sex and age class of the animals harvested. This supplements data collected through hunter harvest phone surveys each year.

FWP staff at the Divide check station met with 233 hunters, 5.6 percent of whom had harvested an animal. This is below last year’s third-weekend success rate of 6.9 percent and the long-term average of 7.1 percent. Hunters reported extremely windy conditions and snowfall.

The Alder check station saw 239 hunters, 11.7 percent of whom were successful. Last year’s success rate for the third weekend was 16.7 percent, and the long-term average is 14 percent. Hunters consistently reported high wind and poor visibility in this area.

The Cameron check station saw 374 hunters over the weekend, which is within average. Hunter success, however, was 15.5 percent, which is nearly double the long-term average success rate of 7.9 percent for the third weekend. Hunters here harvested 49 elk, which is the second-highest number recorded in recent years. The most elk harvested over the third weekend in recent years was in 2015 with 94 elk.

Between the three check stations, biologists checked eight white-tailed deer, 28 mule deer and 62 elk, among other species.

These figures do not account for different hunting season regulations over the years, which have varied from liberal to restrictive for elk and mule deer, depending on population status.

 

Region 3 Check Station Summary – Nov. 5-6, 2022

Game check station Hunters Hunter success White-tailed deer Mule deer Elk
Antlered Antlerless Total Antlered Antlerless Total Antlered Antlerless Total
Alder 239 11.7% 0 6 6 8 6 14 6 2 8
Cameron 374 15.5% 1 0 1 5 3 8 37 12 49
Divide 233 5.6% 0 1 1 3 3 6 3 2 5
Totals 846 1 7 8 16 12 28 46 16 62