The opening days of the general big game hunting season in Region 3 brought mixed results. Hunters may have been better off armed with sunscreen than ammunition.
At the eight game check stations in southwest Montana, a total of 2,505 hunters checked 147 elk, 20 white-tailed deer, and 56 mule deer.
At the Cameron check station in the Madison Valley south of Ennis, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Craig Jourdonnais reported that the weather wasn’t helping hunters with their quarry much.
“Things were relatively slow, but despite the weather, most hunters checking through the station told stories of a great time with family and friends outdoors on a beautiful day,” said Jourdonnais.
Jourdonnais related one story of two gentlemen in their mid-70s who stopped at the check station late on October 24 looking like they’d “just stepped out of a coal mine” very dirty and dusty. One of the gentlemen mentioned he had a pacemaker. “That gentleman had taken a really nice bull elk on the Wall Creek Game Range, and he told me it was his first elk ever.” Before he left the station the gentleman told me ‘I just wanted to harvest one elk before I died’.
Hunting teaches us that there’s more than one way of measuring success. Even though the weather wasn’t conducive to high harvest success, a lot of people had fun in the outdoors on two stunning fall days. But that doesn’t mean we’re not hoping for snow.