Antelope hunting districts managed by the Butte area wildlife biologist are surveyed every other year. Before you drive out to this area, inquire with the local BLM office to get maps and current information for open and drivable roads. However, the distribution of elk has changed over time.

Elk population levels and food source tend to be in a dynamic equilibrium. “Whitetails counts were overall 11 percent above last year, but trend areas in different parts of the region had mixed results,” Foster said. Despite these statistics, FWP has consistently seen a much higher number of moose, including moose with calves, during collaring efforts (which happen to occur a little later than surveys each year). In the Sweetgrass Hills, elk numbers remain well over objective, giving hunters opportunity to harvest antlerless elk. Basic habitat components: security, shelter (may use to maintain thermal equilibrium) and forage production. 72 p. Maxell, B.A. It can also result in serious financial burdens to cattle producers, potentially resulting in quarantine of a herd, increased testing and vaccination costs and possible difficulty in trade with other states and countries. In most hunting districts, elk hunters will not find an over-the-counter B-License available this year for shoulder seasons. There is easy access to all zones where you draw a tag, also there are enough spaces for good shots. For information on hunting safely in grizzly country, please visit They’re happy to help and can often get you pointed in the right direction with just a few simple tips. Winter conditions in the east Gallatin, Absaroka and east Crazy mountain ranges (deer and elk HDs 313, 314, 315, 317, and 393) did not result in substantial winter mortality. As with most years, overall elk hunting success is expected to be influenced by snowfall. Areas that did show declines in calf survival were occupied by both wolves and grizzlies. Elk numbers are slightly below average in the Little Belts (hunting district 413). Conifers and arboreal lichens may also be used. And, as always, you can contact our helpful staff at any of our regional offices around the state. impact of wolves on game species in Montana. Remember to ask first for permission to hunt on private land. It is important for hunters to note that there are no elk shoulder seasons in any of the Region 7 hunting districts. In the Musselshell River and Flatwillow Creek corridors, mule deer numbers are similar to last year and the number of fawns seems good. Deer and elk numbers in the east Pintler, Beaverhead and Highland ranges (HDs 319, 321, 334, 340, 341 and 370) are stable, and hunters should expect comparable opportunities to last year. Here's some links if you want to download a whole group. The air is crisp in the mornings and the sun’s starting to set a little earlier each night. White-tailed deer densities continue to remain stable across the region.

This high population has led to increased issuance of OTC permit and more hunting units. Elk aerial surveys in western Montana were interrupted by the COVID virus this spring. This year HDs 341, 350 and 370 were flown. Across the Pioneer elk management unit, the population appears relatively stable over the long term.

and J.S. Despite good numbers, wolves can be difficult to find and often move long distances.

Mule deer and white-tailed deer are trending at or above average in most areas. Overall, post-season surveys showed the region-wide population at 79 percent above average. White-tailed deer numbers remain strong in the area, especially along river corridors and in agricultural grounds, with spring 2020 observed numbers in the lower Sun and Teton rivers at 47 percent and 23 percent above long-term averages. Watch videos, see the latest gear and more. Jay Kolbe, FWP Wildlife Biologist based in White Sulphur Springs reports that mule deer in his area are still recovering from significant declines seen about 10 years ago.

For more information, visit Definitive information concerning the causes for declining pronghorn numbers and fawn production is lacking. ScoreD - Broad. Aerial surveys of deer populations in southeast Montana indicate that both mule deer and white-tailed deer remain above long-term average numbers. There should also be an increase in the number of yearling bucks on the landscape.

before the rut but seldom exceed 900 lbs.

Hunter success will continue to be influenced by snow accumulations that are sufficient to induce elk migration to accessible areas. 2012. Williams, P.C. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Foresman, K.R. (Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks), The Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium features more than 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, and is a living, breathing tribute […], Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Overall numbers should be similar or slightly higher than last year.

However, counts remained slightly above the long-term average. Migratory in some areas (Sun River, North Yellowstone) moving between seasonal ranges, non-migratory in others. Agencies are making efforts to sign roads that are not open for motorized travel as closed.

“Deer should again be going into the hunting season and winter in good body condition.”. Working Group are convened at appropriate intervals to help assess implementation and effectiveness of elk management recommendations.

The 799-30 license is available one per hunter. Hart, M.M., W.A. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado. FWP has operated under some form of elk plan since 1978. If you were lucky to get out there for some summer scouting, then you’re likely vibrating with anticipation of the hunt ahead. Species is relatively common within suitable habitat and widely distributed across portions of the state. “Hunters will find better densities and good public land opportunity in this remote portion of Region 7.”. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is seeking any information regarding two separate […], Below is a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. in bitterbush hillsides in winter. Tobalske, B.A. 289 p. Dobkin, D. S.  1992. Lonner’s recent winter/spring survey data portray just over 1,100 observed elk with fair calf recruitment into the population. In general, antelope populations have been slowly increasing across the region. Brent Lonner is FWP’s wildlife biologist for the southern Rocky Mountain Front, and his winter/spring 2020 surveys of the Sun River elk herd showed strong numbers of bulls, with a calculated brow-tined bull to cow ratio of approximately 25:100. While no survey was completed for mule deer this spring, given two years of poor fawn recruitment, overall numbers are expected to be low for the area compared to past seasons and likely still below the long-term average.

Look for this PDF icon at the top of each page as you search and browse. Surveys show mule deer population density in southeast Montana has been increasing since about 2012, when deer numbers began to rebound from a crash following back-to-back bitter winters. Antelope numbers were up in antelope HD 340 and down slightly in HD 339. 1302 p. Hutto, R.L. Elk numbers in the Bears Paw area were above the 15-year average based on the 2018 aerial survey. High deer numbers can mean inadequate winter browse and thermal cover, and harsh winters can compound this effect. In contrast, fawn production counts have been slightly below average in HD 310 in recent years. The Missouri Breaks (HD) and Custer Forest Elk Management Unit (HDs 702, 704, 705) remain the two “core” elk populations. These declines are associated with similar declines in fawn production. (Click legend blocks to view individual ranges), Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database. For the Bridger, Gallatin and Madison ranges, elk counts are within or above objective for all areas except HD 310, which continues to be below objective. Copyright by Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, all rights reserved.

It is a balancing act to keep deer numbers at a level that provides opportunity but doesn’t exceed the land’s carrying capacity. Wolf license costs were reduced for the 2020 season. Strong herding instinct; old cows usually lead summer herds of cows, calves, and yearling (spike) bulls; in western Montana, Elk usually summer at higher elevations and move down to grass and/or shrub winter ranges (with nearby trees for thermal cover); habitat use strongly influenced by human activities. 262 p. Commonly Associated with these Ecological Systems, Occasionally Associated with these Ecological Systems, Additional Sources of Information Related to "Mammals". However, hunters must be mindful of fire danger and of private landowners who are facing grass shortages, poor crop production and fatigue from monitoring for fire. In 2016, deer reached the highest density recorded in the past three decades. The potential for transmission to livestock has led FWP to investigate the status of brucellosis in some elk herds near Yellowstone National Park.

In the western portions of his districts, Rauscher reports that white-tailed deer numbers are robust and should provide good harvest opportunities for both bucks and antlerless deer.

Amphibians and reptiles of Montana.

Great berry crops this summer and fall could mean bears are dispersed, which may make them more challenging to find this fall.

Through the program, we coordinate with landowners to provide hunting access to more than 7 million acres of private land. Although fawn numbers appear to be down slightly, mule deer populations remain above average overall. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers are seeking information after two bull […]. In other districts along the southern Rocky Mountain Front, elk numbers are at or above long-term averages. “While that area has a strong complement of bucks in the population, unless a landowner in that specific area is requesting does harvested, I encourage hunters to seek out areas of the region with higher antelope numbers to fill doe licenses.