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Northwest Montana Deer Harvest Remains Steady Entering Final Week

Hunting - Region 1

Monday, November 25, 2019

Kalispell, MT — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has checked more than 11,600 hunters in northwest Montana so far this season, and the percentage of hunters with harvested big game is ahead of last year.

Overall harvest numbers are up for white-tailed and mule deer compared to last year, according to reports at five regional check stations. So far, FWP has checked hunters with 860 white-tailed deer, including 691 bucks, and 93 mule deer. The number of reported elk – 50 – is two behind last year’s tally.

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.

In hunting districts 122 and 130, general hunters can no longer harvest antlerless white-tailed deer the first week or the last week of the season, regardless of land ownership. Youth 12-15 years old and those with a permit to hunt from the vehicle are still allowed to harvest an antlerless whitetail in those hunting districts. Only B license holders can harvest antlerless deer in those districts.

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 Fifth Weekend, November 24, 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

 

4,817

4,853

348

243

287

149

35

36

19

12

8.3

6.1

 

Swan

 

1,621

1,772

134

106

116

73

2

0

3

2

8.6

6.1

 

Thompson

Falls

1,429

1,361

67

45

55

31

9

15

12

23

6.2

6.1

 

Olney

 

2,183

2,093

228

162

183

117

15

14

4

6

11.3

8.7

 

Canoe Gulch

 

1,554

1,495

83

27

50

18

32

14

12

9

8.2

3.3

 

Totals

 

11,604

11,574

860

583

691

388

93

82

50

52

8.6

6.2

 

 

R-1 CHECK STATION TRENDS

Through Fifth Weekend, November 24, 2019

Year

Hunter #s

Total WTD

WT Bucks

Mule Deer

Elk

2010

13,142

696

587

110

110

2011

13,873

589

483

67

85

2012

13,099

589

516

96

64

2013

14,176

821

746

99

51

2014

13,239

856

748

118

42

2015

14,260

910

746

110

76

2016

13,247

1,101

784

123

62

2017

12,926

861

592

40

70

2018

11,574

583

388

82

52

2019

11,604

860

691

93

50