A long-term "adaptive harvest" management plan for Montana's deer populations has been initiated by Fish, Wildlife & Parks and was approved by the FWP Commission at its October 2 meeting in Havre.
The plan contains objectives that will be used to guide FWP's hunting season recommendations to the FWP Commission. Five mule deer management units (groups of hunting districts) have been identified within the state based upon the population dynamics of the species and habitat characteristics. Three separate management units have been identified for white-tailed deer. A population objective for each management unit has been developed and indicators, such as the number of fawns observed in April, have been established in each unit to define the objective.
Three hunting season types are identified for each unit. Information collected from deer population monitoring areas across the state will be used along with checking station reports and harvest statistics to measure the status of populations determine those hunting districts that may require regulation changes in the future. To meet public demand for a limited number of hunters to harvest older aged mule deer bucks in areas with good access, 16 hunting districts in various parts of Montana have been set aside as "special mule deer management areas."
Copies of the plan are now being printed and will be available from FWP's Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701, by the end of December.