Hunter success at or above average during second weekend of general hunt in southwest Montana

Tuesday Nov. 3rd, 2020

The second weekend of Montana’s general deer and elk hunt in southwest Montana saw lower-than-average hunter participation for the same weekend in previous years, but hunter success was at or above average.

Wildlife biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks operated three check stations Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, observing a total of 709 hunters. 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.

The three check stations — at Cameron, Divide and Mill Creek — each saw an increase in hunter numbers from the previous weekend, but a decrease from the same weekend in 2019. At Cameron, hunter success was 11.8 percent, which was within the long-term average for the same weekend in previous years. The Divide check station saw a hunter success rate of 9.2 percent, which was 6 percent greater than the long-term average. Hunter success at Mill Creek was 7.4 percent, which is about 80 percent greater than the long-term average.

In total this past weekend, biologists checked 43 elk, 10 mule deer and 12 white-tailed deer.

These figures do not account for different hunting season regulations over the years, which have varied from liberal to restrictive for elk and mule deer, depending on population status.