Montana Bow and Rifle Hunters Cautioned

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Bow hunters and rifle hunters will be afield at the same time in the next few weeks said Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials, and hunters are urged to take extra care in confirming their target.

The archery-only deer and elk season will continue until Oct. 15 and a number of game damage rifle hunts are also underway in FWP Regions 1, 2, 3, and 5.

"We want to remind hunters to watch for each other in the field. Bow hunters are not required to wear hunter orange in the deer and elk archery-only season and they are known for their quiet stealth. That may make it difficult for rifle hunters to hear them or to be aware they are nearby," said Ron Aasheim, FWP Communications and Education Division administrator. The deer and elk archery-only season is Sept. 2- Oct. 15.

Game damage hunts, in which firearms may be used, are underway for deer in hunting districts 121, 201, 322, 502, and 590; and game damage hunts for elk are underway in hunting districts 210, 290, 370 and 380. Some game damage hunts will run until the end of October and additional hunts may be scheduled as needed.

Game damage occurs when animals such as elk, deer and antelope concentrate on private farms and ranches and eat crops. FWP game managers may use game damage hunts to help reduce damage where landowners provide public hunting during the general hunting season yet still experience damage due to wildlife.

Aasheim said hunters who registered for potential game damage hunting opportunities on private land in Montana this year may check their status online at www.fwp.mt.gov using FWP's Internet Game Damage Roster.