Montana hunters are enjoying a successful season. In fact, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) officials say that last weekend was the best opening weekend for west-central Montana since 2010. So far, 117 elk, 111 whitetail deer, 15 mule deer and five black bears have been recorded at MFWP check stations in Darby, Anaconda and Bonner, KPAX reports.
“The check stations only sample a relatively small portion of the hunting effort and harvests across the region, and they don’t tell the whole story by any means,” Mike Thompson, MFWP Region 2 Wildlife Manager, told KPAX. “But, check stations do a good job of showing us trends over time, and the opening weekend numbers tell us that the hunting season is off to a stronger start than we’ve seen in a while.”
The current check tally shows that this is the highest number of whitetail deer harvests since 2006 and the highest number of elk harvests since 2012. These numbers illustrate both high hunter success as well as steady big game populations within the area.
Remember, hunters are required to stop at all check stations that they pass whether or not they have harvested an animal. With nearly a month left in the general rifle deer and elk season, it sounds like hunters have a great chance at a successful harvest.