Region 1 deer and elk harvest lags behind 2022 season
A hunter at the Thompson Falls game check station displays the bull elk he harvested last weekend. (FWP photo)
| November 1, 2023 1:00 PM
The percent of hunters with game continues to lag behind last season’s average two weeks into Northwest Montana’s general rifle season.
According to stats from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 6.7% of hunters stopping at Region 1 check stations have had successful outings. That compares to 9.9% in 2022.
So far 170 white-tailed deer and 88 white-tailed bucks have been taken in Northwest Montana. The mule deer harvest is at 16.
Of the 21 total elk harvested, most have been reported at the check station on U.S. 2. west of Kalispell. The U.S. 2 station is also reporting the most hunter numbers, with 1,570 stops through two weeks. That’s about the same as last season’s turnout.
Region-wide hunter turnout is nearly on par with 2022, with 3,107 stops at all check stations.
Snowfall began last week across most of the region and the National Weather Service is advising recreationists to be prepared for rainfall in the valleys and snowfall in the mountains this week.
Check stations are open on weekends during general deer and elk hunting season from 10 a.m. to approximately 1.5 hours past sunset. The regional stations are located at U.S. Highway 2 West of Kalispell, Montana Highway 83 north of Swan Lake, Highway 200 west of Thompson Falls, and Highway 93 near Olney.
Hunters must stop at any check station they encounter whether they harvested an animal or not. The counts at the stations represent a sampling of the harvest and do not represent the complete number of animals taken.