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Western Montana Hunters Struggle During Opening Weekend


Montana’s hunting season opened this weekend with low success rates across the state, especially in west-central areas, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

FWP checkpoint stations near Bonner and Darby recorded the lowest combined totals of elk and deer harvests on an opening weekend since 1999.

Dillon Tabish, an FWP spokesperson said this weekend’s low success rate is attributed to the warm weather.

“When it’s really hot out, just like when you’re hiking in hot weather, you tend to want to just sit down and hang out in the shade a little bit more, and so animals will tend to do that if it’s really hot out, they're not going to be moving around as much.”

Tabish says these reports from checkpoints in so far are just a sampling of hunters’ success and do not include all harvests.

As temperatures get colder and snow covers the ground, animal tracks will be visible and hunters are expected to have greater success.

Shaylee began covering state government and politics for Montana Public Radio in August 2020. Originally from Belgrade, Montana, she graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program and previously worked as a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and UM’s Legislative News Service. Please share tips, questions and concerns by emailing 
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