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West-central Montana check stations continue to report slightly above-average hunter success

Hunter Check Station
Posted at 1:38 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 15:38:36-05

MISSOULA - State wildlife officials report that hunter check stations in west-central Montana continue to report elk and deer harvests up from last year and the five-year average.

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), the number of hunter trips through the check stations near Darby, Bonner, Fish Creek, and Anaconda totals 6,769 so far this season.

Hunters checked 239 elk, 81 mule deer and 299 white-tailed deer, compared to 141 elk, 71 mule deer and 258 white-tailed deer at this point in the 2021 season.

FWP notes cold, snowy weather began almost as soon as the 2022 general big game season opened and has been one contributor to hunter success.

Temperatures were on average 30º cooler over the past week, compared to 2021, and snow accumulations are one to two feet ahead of last season in most places in the region.

Elk harvest is up at all three stations, and most notably at the hunter check station near Darby, where a large portion of the elk tally includes those harvested in the Big Hole Valley.

White-tailed deer harvest also continues to outpace recent years in most places, due in part to more liberal regulations in some hunting districts.

Mule deer harvest is up from last year and the five-year average region-wide.

Hunters must stop at all check stations that they pass, even if they have not harvested any animals.

The general big game season in Montana runs through Sunday, Nov. 27.