Deer hunters in Montana will find a mix of hunting opportunities across the state when the general season opens Oct. 20.
"Conditions have been mixed the past several years and deer in many areas of the state are still rebounding from the tough winter of 2010," said Quentin Kujala, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' wildlife sections coordinator in Helena. "The good news is that we're seeing better fawn survival and good fawn production in many areas, but some are still struggling with low numbers and production."
Overall, the better mule deer and white-tailed deer populations are currently in parts of Region 4 and some areas of Regions 2, 3 and 5.That's due in part to central and western Montana dodging the recent winter losses experienced by deer in eastern Montana.
"Mule deer and white-tailed deer will be found in local concentrations based upon habitat," Kujala said. "One generalization is that white-tailed deer are most often associated with the forested habitats of northwestern Montana and in riparian areas," Kujala said. "In addition to scouting for good habitat and access to private lands, a spate of cold and snowy weather often leads to good hunting."
Montana’s forest fires have plagued much of Montana this season. Hunters need to understand that some landowners will be busy rebuilding fences and other structures lost to fire this fall. A call ahead of time, and especially an offer to help, would be long appreciated.
For more information on Montana's five-week long general deer hunting season, visit FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov, click "Hunting" then choose Deer Hunting Guide.
Here's a regional rundown on what deer hunters can expect this season.
Region 1—Northwestern Montana
Region 2—Western Montana
Region 3—Southwestern Montana
Region 4—Central Montana
Regions 5 — South Central Montana
Region 6—Northeastern Montana
Region 7—Southeastern Montana