Southwest Montana hunters see varied success over third weekend of general hunt

BOZEMAN – Hunter numbers and success continue to vary in southwest Montana as recent snowfall facilitated some harvest opportunity while creating challenges for travel and access.
Wildlife biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks operated several check stations during all or part of the third weekend of the season — Nov. 7 and 8. In total, biologists met with close to 600 hunters at check stations in Alder, Cameron, Gallatin and Divide.
Biologists use check stations to collect data on hunter participation and success, as well as the species, sex and age class of the animals harvested. This supplements data collected through hunter harvest phone surveys.
The Alder check station saw 233 hunters, 14 percent of whom harvested an animal. This was the highest success rate for hunters at this check station so far this year. The Cameron check station saw 206 hunters, with a success rate of 6.4 percent, slightly lower than the long-term average of 7.8 percent. The Gallatin check station, which operated only on Nov. 7, saw 57 hunters, 7 percent of whom were successful. 

In a preliminary total, biologists checked about 28 elk, 18 mule deer and 7 white-tailed deer, among other species.
These figures do not account for different hunting season regulations over the years, which have varied from liberal to restrictive for elk and mule deer, depending on population status.