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Hunter Success Picks Up in Northwest Montana

Hunting - Region 1

Monday, November 18, 2019

Kalispell, MT — With two weeks left in Montana’s general hunting season, the percentage of hunters with harvested game is slightly ahead of last year in northwest Montana.

Through four weekends of the season, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has tallied nearly 9,200 hunters at five big game check stations in Region 1. Among those hunters, FWP has recorded 620 white-tailed deer, including 479 bucks, as well as 81 mule deer and 46 elk. The overall percentage of hunters checked with harvested game is 8.1 percent, compared to 6 percent a year ago. The total number of white-tailed bucks reported at the check stations is 212 more than a year ago.

Check stations are open on weekends during hunting season. The counts at the stations represent a sampling of the harvest and do not represent the complete number of animals taken. Hunters must stop at all check stations that they pass, even if they have not harvested any animals.

The general big game season runs through Sunday, Dec. 1.

FWP reminds hunters to review the regulations for specific rules in each hunting district.

Hunters are reminded that mule deer buck hunting in the North Fisher portion of Hunting District 103 near Libby is permit-only. See legal description in regulations and legal district booklet.

Elk hunting is brow-tined bull only in Region 1. Spike elk are not legal game.

FWP has detected chronic wasting disease in the Libby area, and hunters need to be aware of the Libby CWD Management Zone, which includes portions of HDs 100, 103 and 104. All deer, elk and moose harvested within the Libby CWD Management Zone must be checked and sampled within three days of harvest.

During general big game season, the Libby Special CWD Hunt Sampling Station, located at the Montana Department of Transportation shop on US Hwy 2, mile marker 35, will be open every day from 11 a.m. – 1½ hours after sunset. Hunters are only required to stop at the Sampling Station if they harvested an animal.

FWP issued 600 antlerless white-tailed deer licenses that are only eligible within the Libby CWD Management Zone during the archery and general deer seasons.

For more information about CWD, visit fwp.mt.gov/cwd.

Hunters are reminded to “Be Bear Aware” and properly store food and carcasses. Hunters should avoid hanging carcasses near houses or garages. Carcasses must be suspended at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet out from any upright support. Hunters are encouraged to carry bear spray and know how to use it. More food storage and safety information are available on the FWP website, fwp.mt.gov.

Residents can call Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks regional office for more information. In northwest Montana, call (406) 752-5501.

FWP REGION ONE CHECK STATION SUMMARY

Through Fourth Weekend, November 17, 2019

 

STATION

NUMBER

HUNTERS

WHITE-TAILED

DEER

 

WT

Bucks

MULE

DEER

ELK

%

HUNTERS

WITH GAME

 

2019

2018

2019

2018

2019

2018

2019

2018

2019

2018

2019

2018

 

Hwy 2

 

3,886

3,952

250

182

202

102

29

34

18

12

7.6

5.8

 

Swan

 

1,172

1,328

90

81

78

49

2

0

3

2

8.1

6.3

 

Thompson

Falls

1,168

1,071

49

30

38

21

9

10

10

17

5.8

5.3

 

Olney

 

1,720

1,612

169

123

127

84

11

12

4

6

10.7

8.7

 

Canoe Gulch

 

1,235

1,147

62

20

34

11

30

8

11

9

8.3

3.2

 

Totals

 

9,181

9,110

620

436

479

267

81

64

46

46

8.1

6.0

 

R-1 CHECK STATION TRENDS

Through Fourth Weekend, November 17, 2019

Year

Hunter #s

Total WTD

WT Bucks

Mule Deer

Elk

2010

10,474

399

318

87

79

2011

10,941

369

289

50

62

2012

10,381

421

364

61

56

2013

11,074

576

515

84

45

2014

10,442

582

500

104

37

2015

11,179

635

504

89

61

2016

10,188

761

483

109

58

2017

10,060

604

366

26

58

2018

9,110

436

267

64

46

2019

9,181

620

479

81

46