Check station numbers indicate a decline in harvest across Region 7 hunting districts in southeastern Montana last weekend; however, hunters reported seeing game animals.
At Hysham, 73 hunters stopped at the FWP check station and 46 animals were checked: 20 mule deer, 15 white-tailed deer, 10 antelope and one elk.
“Opening weekend varies every year,” said Scott Denson, FWP wildlife manager. "But this year the Hysham check station was down to approximately one-third of what we consider average.”
At Broadus, hunter numbers were stable relative to the past couple of years; however the harvest was about 50 percent lower. Two-hundred-twenty-two hunters passed through the check station and harvested 24 mule deer, 10 white-tailed deer, three elk and one antelope. Although none were checked at the check station, hunters reported seeing more turkeys than in the past couple of years.
Even though harvest appears to be down after opening weekend, “Deer numbers and observations remain similar to the past couple of years,” reported Dean Waltee, FWP wildlife biologist.
At Sidney, the number of bird hunters was similar to previous years but hunter success (59 percent) was lower than in previous years (80-100 percent). The number of big game hunters was down slightly. A total of 47 hunters stopped at the check station. They had shot two mule deer, four white-tailed deer, one antelope, 23 pheasant, two Hungarian partridge and one turkey.