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This Week in Fish and Wildlife: A look at hunting season so far in FWP Region 3

It's been a pretty average hunting season so far in Region 3, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Posted at 10:19 AM, Nov 07, 2023

Hunting season is in full swing across the state. While it’s too early to predict how successful hunters will be in Region 3 this year, MTN's Chet Layman discovers a slow start to the season doesn't always mean a slow finish.

BOZEMAN — We are a couple of weeks into the general hunting season—and as far as weekends go, it’s been a tale of two scenarios: a really warm opener followed by bitter cold weekend number 2. That being said, so far the season has been pretty average.

“Usually mild weather means lower hunter success during the general season. But even starting out, we had pretty good success overall for hunters, and then it jumped right into winter weather conditions. And even so, despite significant change in the weather we've actually seen pretty steady success and pretty steady hunter numbers through the general season so far,” said Morgan Jacobsen, information and education program manager for Montana FWP Region 3.

Much of the information FWP gets comes from hunters themselves. That's why Jacobsen says it’s so important for hunters to stop at those game check stations. Your future hunting opportunity depends on it.

“So when hunters stop by a check station you know they're talking about how long they've been out, whether they were able to harvest something, what did they observe while they were in the field, and getting a sense of, you know, across hundreds of hunters our biologists talk to they start to be able to put together a picture of what, of how, hunting season is playing out, what that means from the standpoint of the resource. So really, really meaningful data,” Jacobsen said.

We'll have total numbers after the season. Last year in Region 3, 14,541 elk were taken, or about 49 percent of all elk taken in Montana. For deer, 14,578, or 32 percent, of Montana's harvested deer.