General big game hunting season in Montana opens Saturday. But, Thursday and Friday, the woods are reserved for the youth hunters.

In a fairly new program, youngsters from 12 to 15 years of age will be able to hunt for the two days before the regular season opens. This also includes 11-year-olds who will be 12 by January 16 of next year.

There are stipulations to the early hunt. The youth must be accompanied by some 18 or older who is not hunting. And the hunt is for Deer Only.

Of course, all shooting hours, license and hunter education rules must be followed.

The standard rifle season starts Saturday, October 20, and will close at sunset Sunday, November 25.

Those hunters hoping to hunt elk in the East Fork of the Bitterroot (District 270) must already have a special license or permit for that specific district. The application deadlines have passed, and there will be no additional licenses or permits available.

During the regular season, however, youth ages 12-15 can hunt brow-tined bull or antlerless elk on a general elk license in the HD 270. The reason for the change is an indication of less bulls in the herds up the East Fork. There is more on the FWP website.

We'll have the latest in hunting news throughout the season on the Daily Update with Kamp Cook Monday through Friday during our Montana Morning and Bitterroot Morning news shows and during the Montana Outdoors Radio Show Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on KLYQ and KGVO radio.