Hunting season is off to a slow start in Western Montana according to FWP Public Information Officer Vivaca Crowser, but things might look better for hunters soon.

"I think as we start to see this rain turn to snow that will make the difference and we'll start to see the harvest bump, plus with the deer rut coming on in November, we should start to see things pick up," Crowser said. "So far if you look at our three longtime running check stations, which are just outside Anaconda, Bonner and Darby, so far this year we've seen about 4,400 hunters, which is on par, or a little bit below last year."

This year’s harvest is also slightly down.

"We've checked 120 elk at the check stations, in the first two weekends of the season, which is down from 139 last year. We've also seen 40 mule deer and 152 white tail deer, which is right where we were after the first two weekends of 2015.

The hunter check stations only record a small sample of hunter traffic, for example, there is no check station between Missoula and Lolo to catalog the hunting results from along Highway 12 or other hunting spots in the Bitterroot.