Whitetail deer harvest picked up during the last two weekends of the deer and elk hunting season but still finished behind last year’s totals.
According to FWP Wildlife Manager Jim Williams, the number of whitetail deer, mule deer, and elk checked were down from last year. “The results at our check stations are an indication that deer and elk populations are still down throughout northwest Montana. We’ll know the details of total harvest for each hunting district after the telephone hunter surveys are completed this spring.”
At the six northwest Montana check stations through Sunday, November 27, a total of 18,611 hunters checked 911 white-tailed deer (753 of these were bucks), 103 mule deer, and 121 elk for a 6.1 percent rate of hunters with game. The counts at the six northwest Montana check stations represent a sampling of the harvest and do not represent the complete number of animals taken.
Hunters checked 15 percent fewer whitetail bucks, 35 percent fewer mule deer, and 23 percent fewer elk as compared to last year.
Wolf harvest: Hunters in northwest Montana have taken 44 wolves, 62 percent of the total quota of 71. No individual wolf hunting district has yet closed. The wolf hunting season continues until December 31, with a proposed extension to January 31. Hunters can still purchase a wolf hunting license, but there is a 5-day waiting period before it is valid.