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This Week in Fish and Wildlife: Reminders to prep for archery season in southwest Montana

Posted at 11:16 AM, Aug 23, 2023

BOZEMAN — It might not feel like it, but hunting season is almost here. In fact, we're only a little less than two weeks out from the start of archery season. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) has three key reminders for those taking to the field with a bow.

Number 1: Get yourself and your equipment ready.

“One, obviously, is practice shooting your bow, right? Practice, practice, practice. Practice shooting in different scenarios and in the scenarios you'll be hunting in so that you get comfortable with what your effective range is and that you ensure your equipment is in good order,” said FWP’s Morgan Jacobsen.

Number 2: Don’t waste your harvest in the heat of fall.

“It can still be hot during September. And so if you're if you're planning on harvesting an animal such as an elk that takes considerable effort to get out, make sure that you make plans to be able to do that so that the meat doesn't spoil,” Jacobsen said.

Number 3: Bears are busy this time of year.

According to Jacobsen, “Fall is when bears are preparing for hibernation. They're active during more periods of the day, they're moving around more, they're less aware of what may be around them because they're so focused on eating more hours of the day.”

Jacobsen stresses bear spray and safety in numbers. He notes that could help with number 2, as well as number 3. If you're not hunting but still heading out, remember, archery hunting is very popular here in southwest Montana.

“Most of the elk harvest happens in southwest Montana and archery season is very popular, a very significant part of that. So we want folks to be successful, to be safe in the field, to have the knowledge they need to be successful, and to do things the right way and we want folks to have a good time and make it home safely,” he said.

Archery season begins Saturday, Sep. 2 for most species. Make sure you know the rules before you head out.