At its June 4 meeting in Helena, the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission set tentative deer, elk, and antelope harvest quota for the 1999 hunting season.
Here is a brief summary of the tentative quotas:
The tentative statewide harvest quotas for both white-tailed and mule deer for 1999 are similar to those for last season, with some adjustments in initial proposals for antlerless deer B licenses quotas for white-tailed deer and mule deer. Increases are a result of improved overwinter survival the past two years and favorable conditions for fawn production this spring. In hunting districts 320-01, 320-02, 333-01, the commission tentatively adopted increases in antlerless white-tailed deer B licenses from 25 to 75 permits; in 333-02 antlerless white-tailed deer B licenses would increase from 25 to 225, and in 360 they'd increase from 50 to 200. The commission also tentatively agreed to increase eastern Montana's Region 6 "single region antlerless whitetail" licenses that are available to nonresidents from 1,000, to 2,000. Reductions in white-tailed deer B licenses would occur in 322-02, where 500 permits would be offered, 100 fewer than initially proposed.
Increases from the proposed 50 deer B licenses for antlerless mule deer to 100 deer B licenses were tentatively adopted for hunting districts 411, 412, and 500. In hunting districts 530-02, 570, 575, and 580 initially proposed quotas of 50 deer B licenses for antlerless mule deer would increase to 150, 200, 300 and 200, respectively.
The commission adopted tentative quotas that would increase "either sex" and "antlerless elk" quotas in the Elkhorn Mountains near Helena. In hunting district 380-01 the either sex quota would be increased from 75 to 100, and in 380-02 the antlerless quota would be increased from 600 to 800. Increased antlerless quotas also were tentatively approved in hunting districts 121, 123, 410-02 4-1, 416 448, and 449 where winter surveys indicated higher elk populations.
Lower quotas tentatively approved for either sex and antlerless elk on the north side of Missouri Breakshunting districts 620-02, 621-01, 622-01, 622-02, 623-01are in response to fewer elk sighted during recent surveys. In addition, the either sex quota for hunting district, 631-01 would be reduced from 20 to 10, and in 631-03 the Archery Only quota would be reduced from 200 to 150. In hunting district 632-01 the either sex quota would be reduced from 15 to 10, and in 632-03 the Archery Only quota would be reduced from 100 to 75. Farther west, in hunting district 690-03, the Archery Only quota would be increased from 10 to 15.
The 1999 season quotas are generally similar to last year, with increases over initial proposals tentatively adopted in hunting district 450, 600, 630, 650, 651, and 690. In total, these increases amount to 800 additional antelope licenses over initial proposals. Summer surveys will determine if increases will be recommended in other districts.
Comments on the tentative deer, elk and antelope regulations will be accepted through July 15. Copies are available from the Wildlife Division, Montana FWP, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.