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Hunt harvest still down in final week


November 22, 2018

With less than a week to go in Montana’s big-game hunting, overall numbers remain down from previous years for reported hunters and animals.

In Region 1, which includes Sanders County, 11,574 hunters have checked 583 white-tailed deer, including 388 bucks, as well as 82 mule deer and 52 elk. Overall hunter success is 6.2 percent compared to 7.5 percent a year ago.

“The final week of hunting season is always exciting,” said Neil Anderson, FWP Region 1 wildlife manager. “Hopefully the weather will improve for hunting conditions. We hope everyone enjoys a safe time in the woods as the season wraps up.”

At the Thompson Falls check station, hunter numbers are up slightly over last year, 1,361 hunters checking in compared with 1,355 through the fifth weekend in 2017. White-tailed deer numbers are significantly lower (45 this year, 80 in 2017) and elk numbers are lower as well (23 this year, 26 in 2017). The mule deer count is the only increase this year, with 15 deer through the check station through five weekends, compared with 1 at the same point in the season in 2017.

The counts at the hunter check stations represent a sampling of the harvest and do not represent the complete number of animals taken. Hunters are required to stop at game check stations they encounter, even if they have not harvested an animal.

This year there are new regulations and carcass transport restrictions surrounding the threat of chronic wasting disease (CWD). For information about positive areas, visit


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