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Northwest Montana: Deer, Elk Harvest Down Through First Week Of Season

November 7, 2008.

From Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks:

The deer and elk harvest in northwest Montana is running well below last year’s harvest through the first week of the 2008 big game season.   Through November 2, a total of 8,011 hunters passed through the six northwest Montana check stations.   These hunters checked 339 whitetail deer, 53 mule deer, and 68 elk for a 5.7 percent rate of hunters with game.   Hunter numbers were down slightly from last year, but total game taken was down 32 percent.

White-tailed deer harvest began to pick up on Sunday when a weather front moved in, according to John Vore, the FWP Wildlife Biologist at the Swan check station.   Hunting conditions should improve even more this week with the weather systems that are forecasted for northwest Montana.  

Check station figures have shown fewer yearling whitetails in the harvest as compared to last year and fewer whitetail bucks.   FWP Wildlife Manager Jim Williams notes that this is probably due to poor hunting conditions this past week and the severe winter conditions we experienced in northwest Montana last winter and subsequent poor fawn survival.   Biologists will be closely monitoring the check station data as the season progresses.    

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