After weeks of below average hunting results in west-central Montana, a little dusting of snow appears to have brought the harvest totals back into line. Montana FWP Public Information Officer Vivaca Crowser explains.

“Just a little bit of snow and having the mule deer rut on now really makes a difference,” Crowser said. “We are on track all-in-all, if you look at the two hunter-check stations in Region 2 right now, elk are a little up at one and down at the other, and white-tail are up at one and down at the other, but if you average that across the region we really are on track.”

The “on-track” Crowser mentions though is actually the five-year average. So far, 2018, is turning out to be a worse year for most hunters than last.

“We have seen most of our elk through the Darby check station and we’ve seen 123 elk this year compared to 134 last season, so down slightly, but we’re right on track with the five-year-average, Crowser said. “In Bonner, we see most of our whitetail deer through that station, we are at 202, compared to 271 last year, but still close to the five-year-average.”

Mule deer appear to be bucking the trend of a lower harvest. The mule deer harvest at both the Darby and Bonner check stations is up slightly.