Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
Hunter success in southwest Montana has varied but remains close to long-term averages as the general hunting season reaches the half-way mark.
Wildlife biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have operated several check stations on weekends during the general hunting season. Biologists use check stations to collect data on hunter participation and success, as well as the species, sex and age class of the animals harvested. This supplements data collected through hunter harvest phone surveys each year.
During Nov. 7 and 8, the Cameron check station saw 393 hunters, 10.2 percent of whom were successful in harvesting an animal. This number of hunters was above average, and their success rate was the second-highest recorded in the past decade.
Over the same weekend, biologists also operated check stations in Divide and Alder. The Divide check station saw 216 hunters, with a success rate of 6.9 percent, which is close to the long-term average. The Alder check station saw 232 hunters, 16.8 percent of whom had harvested an animal.
Biologists have noted unseasonably warm temperatures in some areas with only light snow in upper elevations. Many areas remain snow free, making it difficult to find and track game.
So far this season, biologists in southwest Montana have operated check stations in Alder, Blacktail Deer Creek Watershed, Cameron, Divide, Gallatin, Townsend and York. In total so far, they’ve met with 3,417 hunters who have harvested 32 white-tailed deer, 64 mule deer and 273 elk, among other species.