Smaller Hunting Season for Eastern Montana This Year
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.