Expect Sharply Diminished Hunting Opportunities in Montana FWP Region 6

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Resident and nonresident hunters are reminded in advance of the Oct. 22 opening of the general big-game hunting season that deer and pronghorn antelope licenses have been sharply reduced this year in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 6.

That management action was taken earlier this year in response to high mortality in antelope, mule deer and white-tailed deer populations during last year’s extremely harsh winter, impacts from widespread flooding this spring, and an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, commonly known as EHD, among white-tailed deer in some areas of the Region last summer.

Antelope were especially hard hit last winter in Hunting District 630, HD 650 and HD 670. Biologists say that overall, Region 6 antelope numbers are 70 percent lower than in 2010. 

For white-tailed deer, winter mortality prompted the number of available antlerless 699-00 “B” licenses -- which can be used all across Region 6 – to initially be decreased from 5,000 to 4,000 this year. The EHD outbreak caused state wildlife managers to withdraw an additional 2,000 of the licenses last summer.

For mule deer, antlerless “B” licenses across FWP Region 6 were reduced from 6,400 issued in 2010 to 2,925 being issued this year.

Specifically for mule deer “B” licenses:

§ Hunting District 600 was reduced from 800 to 400;

§ HD 611 reduced from 400 to 100;

§ HD 620/621/622 complex reduced from 500 to 300;

§ HD 630/631/632 complex reduced from 1,200 to 100;

§ HD 641 reduced from 100 to 50;

§ HD 650 reduced from 200 to 100;

§ HD 652 reduced from 200 to 25;

§ HD 670 reduced from 1,350 to 200.

So when compared to the past few years, when most big-game numbers were unusually high across Montana’s Hi-Line, there will be far fewer animals to pursue this year. That means hunters should plan accordingly.


Retired2hunt's picture

  Both situations are not


Both situations are not conducive to the economics of the state.  EHD cannot be predictable so the large decreases in tags allowed here definitley has its devastation on the overall ability for tags and the financial ripple affect behind it.  The harsh winter of the previous year also is an unknown and also has a great devastating affect as well as the ripple affect.  Hopefully Montana's work to eliminate the decreased populations and have a great positive affect assures more hunting capabilities based on healthy herds next year and for many afterwards.


numbnutz's picture

Wow that is a pretty large

Wow that is a pretty large reduction in tags. The winter kill was extreme evn more so on Antelope. I hope in a few year the populations of all the animals can rebound and start to climb back up. As a non-resident with the price hike for tags I'd be mad if i had a tag for that region. I guess thats why it pays to do your research and read the reports the Fish and Game put out. Hopefully  the reduction of tags will help the populations come back. I'm suprised with the way the herd numbers are way way down the way they are that there will even be a season at all. I wouldn't be opposed to closing the area down for a year or two so the animals have no pressure and have a chance to breed and grow. Good luck to all huntin in these areas and lets hope you see and harvest an animal.