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Area Deer Harvest Continues to be Higher

Deer in the Bitterroot Valley. (KLYQ Photo)
Most hunters were happy see the change in the weather for the third week of general hunting season in Montana.

With colder temperatures and snow, the success rate was slightly higher through the Darby check station than last year. However, the elk harvest was lower – about 17 percent below last year at this time and a full 30 percent lower than the 5 year average.

So far this season, mule deer harvest through the Darby station was 554, compared to 44 last year, and there were 76 white-tailed deer, which is 15 higher than last year. Elk, meanwhile, dropped to 186 this year, compared to 223 last year. In a news release, wildlife manager Mike Thompson said that the effect of restrictive regulations for elk this year.

“If we can reduce the harvest of bull elk in HD 270 this year and next, we will hope to take the bulls off permits in 2014,” Thompson said.

One wolf was checked through the Darby station, compared to 5 this time last year.

The cold weather did keep some hunters out of the woods. For instance, at the Anaconda check station, hunter numbers were down about 13 percent from last year.

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