It should be a good season for elk and whitetail deer hunters in Montana. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) counted 26,226 elk this spring – the second highest tally since 1964 – and have observed a strong upswing in whitetail deer numbers thanks to substantial fawn production and “average-or-better winter survival,” The Western News reports.
Because wildfires are still burning, impacting habitat and winter range, MFWP anticipates holding shoulder seasons this fall or winter to manage elk that may migrate onto private cropland. If you think you may want to hunt one of these upcoming seasons, MFWP officials suggest buying an elk B-license now for private lands where the B-licenses are applicable and gain permission ahead of time to hunt private land where the seasons will be held.
Hunters out during general archery season should be vigilant during these wildfire months. MFWP Information and Education Manager Vivaca Crowser told NBC Montana that “hunters in western Montana should be aware of local fire restrictions and closures and take safety precautions.” If you are heading out to hunt, make sure the trail, road or hunting location is still accessible. Click here to gain updates on ongoing or new wildfires.