MISSOULA – State wildlife officials report that the big game harvest in west-central Montana maintained a steady pace through the fourth weekend of the general hunting season, bringing totals in line with average.
At the hunter check station near Bonner, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) biologists and University of Montana student volunteers have checked 61 elk, 31 mule deer and 202 white-tailed deer so far this hunting season.
Bonner’s elk total is lower than last year’s 76 but higher than the five-year average for this point in the hunting season. The white-tailed deer total at Bonner is a bit under 2017 and the five-year average, while mule deer tallies are up from last year.
At the check station near Darby, harvest reports show 123 elk compared to 134 last year, while white-tailed and mule deer tallies are a bit up from 2017.
FWP Biologist Liz Bradley also operated a Fish Creek check station, west of Missoula, over the weekend, checking 215 hunters with 23 white-tailed deer and 3 mule deer.
“All in all, harvest is on track with what we expect to see at this point of the season, and a bit of snow and colder temperatures last week really helped boost hunter success in some spots,” said Mike Thompson, FWP Region 2 Wildlife Manager.
Hunters have nearly two weeks left of the season, which closes on Sunday, Nov. 25.