Smaller Hunting Season for Eastern Montana This Year

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The weather took a toll on Montana's wildlife, especially the eastern portion of the state. A harsh winter and spring and now possibly a disease outbreak that is killing off Montana's deer and antelope. With the survey completed in July there will be 7,000 less tags for deer and antelope, to "ease the pressure," making it more difficult for hunters to harvest a deer or antelope.

“Cutting back severely right now means a better chance for the population to rebound,” said Kelvin Johnson, a wildlife biologist for Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Glasgow. “That’s a short-term thing when you look at the big picture.”

The pronghorns are the ones that were hardest hit. They have had two bad seasons for fawning, their numbers are about 70% less than last year. Their numbers are at the lowest they've been in 50 to 60 years.

Elk numbers are still holding steady. With the wet season there is good habitat for all the animals. With the good habitat the animals may be spread out more than usual, making it more difficult for hunters to find them. From Billings Gazette.


GooseHunter Jr's picture

Goos to see them step up

Goos to see them step up early and try and take care of the isses as soon as possible.  By not letting it go on for years they will most likely be able to resume normal hunting seasons sooner.  here in Colorado in certain areas they waited to long to cut tags for variuous reason and now thewy have to cut tags drmastically in some good areas and the hunting ahs been diredtly effected by it.

hunter25's picture

It's good to see that the

It's good to see that the state of Montana has reacted so quickly to the conditions of thier herds this year. I agree that reducing the number of tags drastically was the right thing to do after the severe winter conditions that killed so many last year. It's hard to believe that the herd could be reduced by 70% in just a couple of years. 

Hopefully with these actions they will be able to recover quickly and things can get back to the kevels they were in years past. I was beginning to plan a hunting trip up there next year for the antelope but it looks likw maybe it woulod be wise to hold off for a couple more years till things recover. Wyoming is closer anyway, I just wanted to try another state.