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At halfway point, hunter success lower

| November 15, 2023 2:00 AM

Montana’s general hunting season is hitting the midway point and the overall harvest is expected to increase with the onset of the deer breeding season, according to state wildlife officials.

The deer breeding season, known as the “rut,” typically begins in early-to-mid November. The general deer and elk hunting season concludes Nov. 26.

So far this season, nearly 4,600 hunters have appeared at regional game check stations. Harvest results at the regional check stations are slower than a year ago while the number of hunters reported is slightly higher.

Through the first three weekends of the season, the percentage of hunters in Region 1 with game is 7.1% compared to 9% in 2022.

A total of 268 white-tailed deer and 150 white-tailed bucks have been harvested. Hunters have checked in with 34 mule deer and 24 elk. Thirteen of the elk have been reported at the station on U.S. 2.

Check stations are open on weekends during general deer and elk hunting season from 10 a.m. to approximately 1.5 hours past sunset. The regional stations are located at U.S. 2 west of Kalispell, Montana 83 north of Swan Lake, Montana 200 west of Thompson Falls, and U.S. 93 near Olney.