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Big game hunting season wraps up in west-central Montana

NW MT hunter check station
Posted at 1:00 PM, Nov 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-28 19:01:52-05

MISSOULA – Montana’s 2022 general big game hunting season closed on Sunday, Nov. 27 much the way it began five weeks ago, with harvest totals up slightly from last year and cold and snowy conditions prevailing across much of west-central Montana.

During the six weekends of the season, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) operated wildlife check stations in four locations around west-central Montana, where biologists collectively recorded 9,726 hunter stops and a harvest of 301 elk, 110 mule deer and 567 white-tailed deer.

This compares to 10,216 hunter stops, 192 elk, 109 mule deer and 513 white-tailed deer at the 2021 season’s end.

The pattern of slightly higher than average harvest totals held true all season long, as did overall cold and snowy hunting conditions, which was one contributor to elk hunter success, according to FWP.

All four west-central Montana hunter check stations saw more elk in the 2022 season than in 2021. The Darby station checked more elk this year than it had since 2015.

FWP officials. note there were some local variations in harvest patterns across the region.

While elk harvest was up at all hunter check stations, the mule deer harvest tally was up at the Bonner station, down at Fish Creek, in line with average at Anaconda and down slightly from last season at Darby.

White-tailed deer harvest numbers were up at Darby and Bonner, down at Anaconda, and on track with average at Fish Creek.

The general rifle season closed on Nov. 27, but some winter hunting opportunities, such as the muzzleloader season (Dec. 10-18, 2022), are coming up. Find out more at