Hunter success up in southwest Montana during final weekend of general season
Tuesday Nov. 30th, 2021
Above-average mule deer harvest in several areas
BOZEMAN – Success rates increased for hunters in southwest Montana during the final weekend of the general hunting season, according to check station data gathered by wildlife biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
The general hunting season in Montana concluded on Nov. 28. During that weekend, biologists in southwest Montana operated game check stations in Alder, Cameron, Divide, Gallatin and Canyon Ferry. Hunter success rates were highest during the final weekend at most of those check stations, compared with previous weekends this season, despite continued warm and dry weather.
At the Alder check station, almost 29 percent of hunters had harvested game, compared to 25 percent last year and a check station average of 18 percent during the final weekend. Nine harvested elk were counted, compared to an average of 20. Eleven white-tailed deer were counted, compared to an average of 15. Thirty-two mule deer were counted, more than double the average of 14.
This was the lightest year for elk harvest at the Divide check station since 2016, and the heaviest for mule deer in the past 12 years. During the final weekend, biologists here counted seven harvested elk, compared to an average of 13. They also counted five white-tailed deer, compared to an average of two, and 21 mule deer, compared to an average of 10.
Mule deer harvest was also above average at the Cameron check station, with 15 mule deer counted compared to an average of 11. Thirty-nine elk were counted, below the average of 45, and three white-tailed deer, compared to an average of six. Overall, hunter success at the Cameron check station during the final weekend was about 15 percent, which is slightly above average.
Throughout the general season this year, which lasted from Oct. 23 through Nov. 28, biologists in southwest Montana operated weekend check stations in Alder, Blacktail Deer Creek Watershed, Cameron, Canyon Ferry, Divide, Gallatin, Townsend and York. Collectively, biologists met with 6,096 hunters who harvested 75 white-tailed deer, 190 mule deer and 443 elk.