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Deer, elk harvest numbers close to last year

| November 4, 2009 11:00 PM

The Western News

Deer and elk harvest numbers in northwestern Montana through the first week are running close to last year, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials reported.

Through Nov. 1, 7,417 hunters passed through the six northwestern Montana check stations. Out of that number, hunters checked 325 white-tailed deer, 51 mule deer and 78 elk. Those numbers reflect a 6.1-percent rate of hunters coming through with game, compared to a 5.7-percent success rate last year.

As of Monday, hunters had taken 17 wolves in Wolf Management Unit 1, which encompasses all of northwestern Montana’s Region 1, along with small portions of FWP Regions 2 and 4. The quota for the unit is 41 wolves.

“The harvest rate has been relatively stable,” said FWP wildlife manager Jim Williams. “The quota should remain open and provide opportunity for hunters for most of the general big-game hunting season.”

Williams added that most hunters who have taken wolves have been appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the management of the wolf population.

Hunters are reminded to check hunting regulations for the area they plan to hunt before heading out to the field, and to ask first when hunting on private land.

Montana FWP reminds hunters that either-sex whitetails are legal game through Nov. 8. After that, the regulation is buck-only for whitetails for the rest of the season. Mule deer hunting is buck-only all season long; elk is brow-tined bull only.

The regulations apply in most Region 1 hunting districts. Hunters ages 12-15 may take antlerless white-tailed deer and antlerless elk in most Region 1 hunting districts.