Montana Deer News

Whitefish, Council looks into culling urban deer population April 26, 2016 Montana, Whitefish Pilot
... City Councilor ... Hildner has for several years brought up the idea during Council’s annual goal setting sessions, saying the number of deer in Whitefish has an impact on city parks. However, the idea hasn’t gotten any traction with other councilors... Leo Keane [said] ...“I have what I consider to be an overpopulation of whitetail deer in my yard,” ...

Deer poached near Hamilton April 26, 2106 Montana, Great Falls Tribune
... shot on Gird Creek Road, just off of Skalkaho Highway ... April 15 or 16 ... call 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668).

Game warden asking for tips on poached deer April 21, 2016 Montana, ABC FOX Montana News
... a mule deer buck that was shot on Gird Creek Road, just off the Skalkaho Highway near Hamilton... on April 15 or 16 ... 1-800-TIP-MONT

Protecting sage grouse is good for Montana April 21, 2016 Montana, Helena Independent Record
... Montana’s sagebrush steppe supports antelope, mule deer, sharptail grouse and hundreds of other species of wildlife. Our remaining unbroken prairies sets us apart from other states, which have unwitting frittered away this important habitat ...

Judge OKs Giant Coal Mine in Montana April 5, 2016 Courthouse News Service
...  The mountain range in south central Montana between Roundup and Billings features rugged terrain with pine-covered ridges and flat-topped buttes with steep slopes. The Bull Mountains rise to about 4,700 feet, and provide habitat for a wide range of animal species, including big-game such as mule deer and elk...

Deer gather in Stodden Park  March 30, 2016 Montana, The Montana Standard
...  the 16 to 18 deer were still in the park with no access to water and the park’s two gates posing an obstacle... 

... By protecting key wildlife corridors and winter range, Montana’s wildlife management areas also help reduce conflicts between big game and farming and ranching operations. Elk on a wildlife management area aren’t raiding haystacks or causing fence damage to private operations. The alternative is the Wyoming model, which involves feeding thousands of elk in feed grounds ...

Presentation to focus on ammunition and wildlife March 26, 2016 Montana, Montana Standard
... In the last 10-15 years or so, the science has pointed toward spent lead ammunition as a vector source of lead poisoning in raptors and other scavengers who eat the gut piles left by hunters...

Young cottonwoods planted to save forests on Missouri March 24, 2016 Montana, Great Falls Tribune
... Stakes were pounded into the ground. Fencing was attached to the stakes to keep deer, beaver and cattle away from the young trees... “The real problem is we just don’t have any natural floods anymore,”  .. 

... FWP paid $562,500 for the Clear Creek Conservation Project ... includes extensive winter range for elk and deer as well as a travel corridor for grizzly bears moving between the Rocky Mountain Front and the Garnet Mountain Range. It lies next to the 4,900-acre Dalton Mountain ...

Wildlife researchers want to know what is impacting Mule Deer. March 23, 2016 Montana


Take Action on Proposed Oil Development in Prime Wildlife Habitat in Montana March 11, 2016 Natural Resources Defense Council 
... An oil exploration company is proposing to drill a test well in the Tendoy Mountains in southwest Montana on public land west of Lima, Montana. This area in southwest Montana is incredible wildlife habitat with excellent recreation opportunities on public land ... a diverse and abundant array of wildlife, including elk, mule deer, wolves, mountain lions ...

Regulation changes could impact local hunters February 28, 2016 Montana, Ravalli Republic
... Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park’s Bitterroot-based Biologist Rebecca Mowry said the hope is the change in the regulations will take some of the pressure off the bull population in the popular hunting area....

Montana deer and elk permit deadline is March 15 February 19, 2016 tsln.com
... New to this year’s March 15 application packet will be antlerless elk permits in select hunting districts in FWP regions 2 and 3. These permits will allow a general elk license holder the opportunity of harvesting an antlerless elk ...

Hunting changes OK'd for Northwest Montana February 18, 2016 Montana, Daily Inter Lake
... first week of the general rifle season will allow either-sex white-tailed deer hunting ... the last week will allow either-sex deer hunting on private lands ... rest of the general season will be restricted to antlered bucks...

Missed opportunity for Bullwacker-Cow Creek access February 16, 2016 Montana, Billings Gazette
... Bullwhacker and Cow Creek have one of the most diverse wildlife populations in the state. Bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope ...Most of the controversy was around the notion that important elk habitat was going to be exchanged for a road right of way ...

Poached deer dumped near Glendive February 16, 2016 Montana, Sidney Herald Leader
... Three white-tailed deer and two mule deer were discovered south of Glendive...  The mule deer bucks had their heads cut off while one of the whitetail bucks had its skull cap and antlers removed... [ Callers can remain anonymous.  1-800-847-6668. ]

Bitterroot study gets underway to learn more about mule deer herds February 15, 2016 Montana, Missoulian
... Talk to people who have lived here for decades and they will tell you there used to be a lot more mule deer on the public lands surrounding the valley floor. Others are quick to say that they’ve never seen so many mule deer in the bottomlands... researchers plan to have captured and collared a total of 30 mule deer does ...

... Today, PZP is used in more than 30 wild horse management areas, including the Pryor Range, and has helped reduce the need for inhumane and costly roundups and warehousing of horses. It’s also used on 17 African elephant reserves and on the bison of Catalina Island. In four states, it’s been used to manage urban deer...

FWP seeks comment on proposed Threemile WMA addition February 11, 2016 Montana, Ravalli Republic
... Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials want to know what people think about the potential of adding 215 acres of donated land to the Threemile Wildlife Management Area...  the land includes a good mix of habitat types for elk and deer...

Helena, City's deer cull quota approved February 11, 2016 Montana, Helena Independent Record
... The city began culling deer in 2008 by trapping them in pens, dispatching ... The plan called for reducing densities from 33 to 25 deer per square mile ...The current year’s cull allows 130 deer to be killed with a provision to take 180 if a disproportionate number of bucks are taken...

A 'Curious' kind of deer February 11, 2016 Montana, Sidney Herald Leader
... this curious icon of the west has been mysteriously disappearing from the landscape  ...In Wyoming, for example, there were 578,000 mule deer in 1991, which dropped to a mere 369,000 in 2012. Colorado, meanwhile, hit a high of 625,000 in 1983, but by 2014, had dropped to 391,000...

Public comment split on Helena's deer cull quota February 10, 2016 Montana, Independent Record 
... “It would seem to me that those who prefer only a city life without these beautiful animals, they should pack up and go to the places where no deer or other animals reside,” wrote Patricia Sharp of Helena. “This is the deer’s home as much as it is human’s...

Montana man spots possible wolf hunting Jumbo elk herd February 9, 2016 Helena Independent Record
... on Mount Jumbo in Missoula.  The images Brian Nostrant posted on his Facebook page shows more than 30 elk in a tight bunch with a large, thick-tailed canine running below them... wolves were within the realm of possibility.  “There are some big coyotes on Mount Jumbo ...

Expanding elk hunting seasons on commission's agenda February 9, 2016 Montana, Great Falls Tribune
...  Commission will vote Thursday on whether to approve extended hunting seasons across the state to address overpopulations of elk following a successful pilot program in northcentral Montana...

Pet doe’s killing sparks controversy, education January 28, 2016 Montana, Billings Gazette
... Comment from reader:  There are not words low enough to discribe the FWP personnel involved in this. These people were doing nothing wrong, if left at the road side this deer would have been dead anyway. The rat fink neighbor that turned these people in are the lowest ...
     Billings wildlife official defends killing Forsyth pet deer January 25, 2016 Montana, KTVQ 
... The deer’s mother had been killed by a car, and the Duncans thought the baby animal would suffer the same fate if they left it there.  But FWP Spokesman Bob Gibson says the family should have left the deer alone... it came and went from their backyard as it pleased...

... This mule deer study in the Bitterroot could serve as a pilot for other locations around the west that are seeing similar declines and changes in land use by mule deer ... “I’m interested to see if the differences in management strategies or components of the habitat are making a difference in doe mule deer survival,” ... 

Hunters raise concerns about shoulder seasons for elk January 22, 2016 Montana, The Missoulian
... many held deep concerns for the proposal to open cow elk hunting on private land for nearly six months across much of Montana... The goal is to reduce the number of elk harboring on private farm and ranch pastures, which are not commonly available to general season hunters. While elk populations in some public land regions of the state are str=uggling ...

... Ryan's post recounts finding the deer six years ago as a baby next to its dead mother on the highway... Princess" was loved by the community ... the deer was never confined to the family's backyard and that the animal came and went as it pleased...
     Captive deer euthanized; Forsyth couple charged with obstruction January 21, 2016 Montana, KTVQ 
... game wardens served a search warrant at the property Tuesday morning, at which time they tranquilized and confiscated the captive deer.  The deer was transported to a Miles City veterinarian and euthanized...

Report, map examine elk hunting in terms of open roads, access January 21, 2016 Montana, Billings Gazette 
... Blaming low elk harvest on the closure of roads on federal lands ignores the real problems, said Mark Lambrecht of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, in testifying before the EQC. He pointed to increasing development in elk habitat, elk herds concentrating on private lands to avoid hunters and the increase in the number of predators ...

3 big land acquisitions on Fish and Wildlife Commission's agenda January 11, 2016 Montana, Billings Gazette
... totaling 1,150 acres at a cost of $2.45 million...  recognized as an important forest carnivore linkage zone, supports elk, mule deer, moose, and high densities of white-tailed deer ...As of December 2014, FWP held 49 Habitat Montana conservation easements covering 238,695 acres...

Winter deer saved from barb wire. We had to cut 2 wires to free this deer from the fence that he was stuck in. We were driving when we saw the deer and onlookers cheered when he finally got free. This white tail deer got stuck as it was crossing a road in Montana. The deer was freed from the wire and saved as its antlers were caught in the fence. - January 10, 2016


...While mule deer numbers are currently stable, the population of mule deer is half what it was in the 1980s in areas throughout the southern and western parts of the state... Fager said the amount of snow we’re seeing this winter could have a negative impact on the mule deer...

... The proposal, announced on Monday, would allow  the harvest of both sexes of whitetail deer during the first week of general hunting season... 

... accidents involving vehicles and animals are not uncommon, but the sheer number of animal deaths during the incident east of Helena was notable...

Big hunting meeting coming up on Jan. 9 December 31, 2015 Montana, Daily Inter Lake
...  For Region 1 (Northwest Montana) ... During the last several years, doe hunting has been very restricted to allow the deer herd to rebuild after a couple of tough winters... Whitetail deer harvests have declined severely over the past 25 years. Some of that decline is due to occasional tough winters, but I think most of the decline is due to the loss of high-quality deer habitat ...

Comment period for Montana hunting changes nears midpoint December 30, 2015 Montana, Bozeman Daily Chronicle 
... not too many people have officially made their voices heard ...  Changes up for debate include dates or the ages or sexes of animals that can be killed in the districts... comment on bottom left of this page

The Impact of Climate Change on Montana's Outdoor Economy [PDF] MW Federation, TM Power, DS Power - 2015
...  Big game will move into the high country and stay there longer to avoid the higher temperatures and because snowfall will come later. This will make hunting more difficult because the game will be more distant from road access and snowfall to assist in tracking will be less likely. Meat spoilage will be more of a problem. Milder springs will increase the survival of calves and fawns and big game populations will periodically exceed the sustainable carrying capacity of the habitat...

FWP hunting meetings set in NE Montana December 28, 2015 Billings Gazette
... will hold four public meetings in northeast Montana in January to gather comments on proposed hunting seasons and rules for the next two years... Comments may be submitted at these public meetings, online ...or by mail to: FWP Wildlife Division, “attn: hunting season proposals,” PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620. Comments are due by 5 p.m. on Jan. 22...

Helena Looks To Continue Deer Culling December 28, 2015 Montana, KFBB NewsChannel 5
... Back in 2008, the Helena City commission developed an urban deer management plan ... Since then, about 800 deer have been removed...

... The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission sent out the city’s proposed culling quota ranges for the 2016-2017 biennium at its Dec. 10 meeting. If approved, the city can set culling quotas between zero and 250 to reach density goals.  Public comment runs through 5 p.m. Jan 22 with final adoptions at the Feb. 11 commission meeting. Comment can be submitted here

Rules for coming hunting seasons get public review in January December 26, 2015 Montana, The Missoulian
... The tentative rules and regulations, available for review and comment now [rules listed under Hunting and Trapping] ... include statewide and local regulations for antelope, black bear, bighorn sheep, bison, deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, mountain lion and upland game birds... Montana could be moving toward a situation like Colorado’s, where elk live mostly on private land and property owners charge steep fees for access...

Bob Ream, witness to wolf recovery history December 24, 2015 Montana, Flathead Publishing Group
...  in 1973 ... wolves were considered extirpated from the state, there were still plenty of reports and wolf sightings ...  Ream said the number today is likely closer to 750 to 800 statewide... wolves primarily fed on deer, particularly when the snows became deep and deer were easier to catch...

Meeting addresses proposed changes to hunting regulations December 23, 2015 Montana, Valley Journal 
... proposed regulation changes may affect hunting white-tailed deer and elk ... read the proposed changes ... The comment deadline is January 22, 2016 at 5 PM.

... Jay's work presented an alternative to roundups, relocations, surgical sterilization and the culling of wild horses, bison, deer and elephants. His research is published in numerous journals. There's an excellent feature story about Jay and his work here...

...  will hold six meetings in south-central Montana in January to gather comments on proposed hunting seasons and rules for the next two years.  All of the meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. [in early January] ...

Controlled burns eyed as way to ease harm to wildlife habitat December 18, 2015 Montana, Billings Gazette
... Surveys are documenting how the wildlife habitat that had been treated with man-set controlled fires suffered much less impact from the out-of-control wildfires... “One of the objectives in a prescribed burn might be to reduce fuels while leaving more than 50 percent of the bitterbrush or sagebrush in an area for deer or sage grouse,” ...

Four charged with unlawfully killing bucks in Hill County December 15, 2015 Montana, Great Falls Tribune
... multiple counts of unlawful possession of a game animal, unlawful hunting from a public road, hunting during a closed season, unlawful use of artificial light while hunting, and a single count of killing an over-limit of a game animal...

Game harvest improves in north-central Montana December 14, 2015 Billings Gazette
...Hunter numbers were up 12 percent from 2014, but are still down 18 percent from the long-term average.  “Weather conditions this year were mostly warm and dry, which may have helped increase hunter participation from last year,” ...

Helena, Comments sought on Helena deer-culling quota December 11, 2015 Montana, Independent Record 
... Under the proposal, the culling quota could be set anywhere from zero to 250 deer for 2016 and 2017... Public comment on the culling quota range will run through 5 p.m. Jan. 22. Information on commenting is available at http://fwp.mt.gov/home/publicComments.html.

Hunting seasons up for debate at FWP Commission December 10, 2015 Montana, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
...  elk hunting in district 313 near Gardiner...  proposing to allow only 75 permits for elk hunters ... allowed more than 1,500 people to hunt there last season...  the number of mature bull elk in the population — which migrates out of Yellowstone National Park each year — is declining because hunters are killing too many...

FWP meeting to discuss walleye, easement December 8, 2015 Montana,
Great Falls Tribune
... Proposals to consider for public comment include the quota range for the Helena range deer management plan ... will also hear proposals on ... Deer, elk and antelope seasons, quota ranges and hunting district boundaries... December 10 meeting agenda

2 fined after poaching trophy whitetail buck in Fort Peck December 8, 2015 Montana, Billings Gazette
... Two men have been fined and lost their hunting privileges after poaching a well-known trophy class whitetail buck near the town of Fort Peck last month...

...  evidence suggests moose are struggling throughout Montana.  FWP allotted as many as 836 hunter's tags for moose in 1962. In 1995, the state issued 769 tags to hunters for moose. But by 2014, hunters drew only 367 moose tags... 

Elk harvest hits 20-year high on Rocky Mountain Front December 1, 2015 Montana, The Missoulian
... Total elk harvest was about 32 percent above the 10-year average ... White-tailed deer was about 5 percent above ... mule deer buck harvest was approximately 14 percent below ...

Researchers want wildlife considered in climate change talks December 1, 2015 Montana, The Missoulian
... warming temperatures are already showing impacts on moose ... “It’s hard to specifically link it, because mostly what we have is correlations,” DeCesare said. “But it appears that warm winters precede low survival rates for moose.” ... studies run parallel with observations of wild moose decline across the northern United States ...

Bluetongue runs its course with small loss in deer population November 28, 2015 Montana, Daily Inter Lake
... About 60 deer that died in the Eureka area last month were believed to have been killed by the bluetongue virus, a disease that causes internal hemorrhaging and death in up to 80 percent of animals affected by it...

Much to be thankful for in Montana outdoors November 26, 2015 The Missoulian
... Along with the elk populations, mule and whitetail deer populations are also on the rise, and hunters’ success is also better this year because of it. Many of the check stations are showing increased harvest numbers for whitetail deer, while mule deer numbers vary depending on the station...

FWP considers doubling size of Nevada Lake winter range November 25, 2015 Montana, The Missoulian
... the property sees lots of hunting interest during the general deer and elk season, and also provides critical winter range for both species... The EA is available for comment at 1.usa.gov/1lgywF9. ... Comments must be received by FWP by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11.

New Report on the Destructive Impacts of Energy Development on Wildlife November 24, 2015 Montana, Natural Resources Defense Council
... A new study commissioned by NRDC and the National Wildlife Federation finds that energy extraction (e.g., coal mining and oil and gas development) in southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming is destroying the habitat of some of the West's most beloved wildlife - including mule deer, pronghorn, elk ... Half of the mule deer units in the study are in poor health ...

Man cited for shooting deer in Bozeman city limits November 23, 2015 Montana, KRTV Great Falls News
... “He claimed he didn't know you couldn't shoot in the city ... The deer was still alive when police arrived and had to be put down...

Whitetail Deer Harvest Steady in Northwest Montana November 19, 2015 Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
... At the six northwest Montana check stations through Sunday, November 9, a total of 8,634 hunters checked 442 whitetail deer (335 of these were bucks), 61 mule deer, and 55 elk for a 6.5 percent rate of hunters with game, the same percentage as last year.  The number of whitetail bucks and mule deer bucks checked is down slightly from last year, while elk numbers are up. Hunter numbers are up about 7 percent...

... more deer and elk wintering habitat and contribute to large-scale wildlife connectivity... more information ...

Wardens Looking for Tips on Mule Deer Poached in Southern Bitterroot November 17, 2015 Montana, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
... two mule deer that were poached approximately three miles up Rye Creek in the southern Bitterroot Valley on Sunday, Nov. 15.  The mule deer does were shot on private property from the Rye Creek Road and left to waste... 1-800-847-6668

... the state doesn’t have to manage forests for “multiple use,” like the U.S. Forest Service does... “We have a mandate to manage these (forests) to provide a sustainable flow for a variety of projects, beyond timber, for recreation, for wildlife, for wildlife habitat ... The state’s legal mission is to earn money from its lands ...

Mule Deer Doe Poached Near Kendall November 16, 2015 Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
 ...“The doe was shot Saturday morning, Nov. 14,” .. along Kendall Road near the old Kendal Mine and the K-M Scout Ranch .. Andersen at (406) 366-2447  ...

FWP reports strong hunting season in Missoula area November 15, 2015 NBC Montana
... "It's still kind of early to say if it's been a real raving success but so far, we're doing better than last year," said Blackfoot Wildlife Biologist Scott Eggeman with Fish, Wildlife and Parks...

... The Rocky Mountain Research Station’s Fire Effects Information System (FEIS)
team synthesizes information about wildland fires, their history in U.S. ecosystems, and their effects on U.S. wildland plants, lichens, and animals. Found at www.feis-crs.org/feis/, ... For the white-tailed deer Species Review there were more than 10,000 published articles available...

Mule Deer Foundation November 13, 2015 Montana, Billings Gazette 
... the Mule Deer Foundation has grown from just a dream of Emmett Burroughs, into one of the leading wildlife conservation groups in North America... we are now putting hundreds of thousands of dollars on the ground each year, which are directly helping mule deer...

... Rocky Mountain Front hunters had better-than-average success with whitetail deer in the second week of the season ... “Elk harvest remains 25 percent below the 10-year average ... mule deer numbers remain 46 percent below the 10-year average at the Augusta check station. However, 2015 is the second consecutive year when Region 4 limited the mule deer hunt to antlered-only permits...

Whitetail Deer, Elk Harvests Remain Strong in Northwest Montana November 2, 2015 Montana, FlatheadBeacon
... The number of hunters with whitetail deer is up 42 percent compared to last year ... the number of elk harvested is almost double, but the number of mule deer is down about 30 percent...

Deer, elk harvests remain strong in south-central Montana November 2, 2015 Billings Gazette
... at south-central Montana check stations. But Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists noted an increase in the number of harvested animals, particularly deer...

2 deer poached south of Great Falls November 2, 2015 Montana, krtv.com
 ... two mule deer bucks shot either late October 27 or early October 28 south of Great Falls... on Eden Road near the intersection of Boston Coulee Road...  call 1-800-TIPMONT.

Opening weekend on average for western Montana hunters October 27, 2015 Montana, The Missoulian
...  Region 2 game wardens recorded an increase in both hunters and tagged animals ... in Anaconda, Bonner and Darby ...  northwest Montana portion covered by FWP Region 1 ... equaling the harvest rate for 2014... Mule deer numbers in Region 4 were also below normal ... Whitetail deer numbers were above average ..

Elk, Mule Deer Below Average on Rocky Mountain Front October 27, 2015 Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
... taking home fewer elk and mule deer compared to the past five years, 2010 through 2014.  The white-tailed deer harvest was above the five-year average.  The numbers were collected at Fish, Wildlife and Parks check station in Augusta, which has been in operation for decades; however starting in 2010 the opener for the general deer and elk season was moved from Sunday to Saturday... Overall hunter participation was slightly above the five-year opening weekend average: 273 hunters checked through Augusta this year compared to an average of 255 hunters...

Region 5 Opening Weekend Results October 27, 2015 Montana Outdoor Radio Show
...Warm temperatures and light winds made for a comfortable and, in many cases, successful start to the general big-game hunting season in south central Montana... the number of hunters who stopped at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ four check stations was up from the same weekend in 2014 and the percentage of hunters with harvested game was up overall...

Rocky Mountain Front hunters bag fewer elk, mule deer October 26, 2015 Montana, Great Falls Tribune
... Hunters took home fewer elk and mule deer compared to the past five years on the Rocky Mountain Front during the opening weekend ...  hunter participation was slightly above ...

Big game season kicks off in Flathead with mixed results October 25, 2015 Montana, NBC Montana
... "Our white tail numbers are probably not going to exceeded (the) season opening weekend for last year,” ... “Our elk numbers are through the roof...

Laurel, Deer and elk hunting season underway October 25, 2015 Montana, KTVQ 
... "Surveys show that mule deer populations are rebounding and white tails also, after (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) and blue outbreak a couple years ago." ...

Montana's big game season opens today October 24, 2015 Montana, Bozeman Daily Chronicle 
... In the Helena area, elk numbers are stable, while they are increasing near Dillon. Populations are over FWP’s objectives in the Bridger Mountains and near objective in the upper Madison, Spanish Peaks and lower Gallatin... Mule deer populations are growing all over Region 3 after two mild winters ...

Deer, elk rifle season opens Saturday October 23, 2015 Montana, Billings Gazette 
...  nearly 35 million acres of national forest and other public land, more than 30 wildlife management areas as well as 8 million acres of land made available through the Block Management Program... 

A region-by-region rundown on the outlook for elk, deer and antelope October 21, 2015 Montana, Great Falls Tribune
... a region-by-region rundown by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks on what elk, deer and antelope hunters can expect this season.  These are good times for elk hunters as Montana elk populations continue to be strong across most of the state... Hunters who witnessed a drop in mule deer numbers in many areas of Montana a few years ago will see improving populations this year as favorable weather and habitat conditions kicked in in 2014 and 2015...

Opening Day of General Hunting Seson Renews Montana Traditions October 21, 2015 Make it Missoula
... About 100,000 hunters will be afield this weekend ... Hunters must follow all regulations and obtain permission to hunt on private property, where 65 percent of the state’s the deer and 40 percent of the elk occur ...

Hungry bears perishing on western Montana highways October 12, 2015 Montana Standard
... black bears have flooded the valleys of western Montana after food sources played out higher up ...  there’s (other) road kill and the bears will want to drag that deer off the road, so they rush out to go grab it ...

Hunters will need to adjust to dry Western Montana weather October 9, 2015 Montana,, KAJ18 Kalispell Montana News
...  Missoula is seeing it's second driest year since 1893, recording less than 7" of rain ... If we don't get snowfall when rifle season hits, the densities of the animal population will probably concentrate more around water source ...

New study looks at mule deer in Bitterroot October 9, 2015 Montana, Ravalli Republic 
... Mule deer does are having a hard time of it in the Bitterroot Valley and beyond.  No one is really sure why.  This winter, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ biologists will begin a three-year study ... 

Bluetongue Disease Killing Deer Near Eureka October 9, 2015 Montana, FlatheadBeacon
...  approximately 60 deer have died from the disease ... Anderson urged people to report deer that appear to be sick or that die from unexplained reasons anywhere in the region by calling at FWP at 752-5501....

2015 Deer Hunting Outlook October 7, 2015 Montana, RoundupWEB
... improving populations this year as favorable weather and habitat conditions kicked in in 2014 and 2015.  Additionally, in many areas of the state, fawn recruitment has been excellent and populations are doing well ...

Montana big-game season: Hunters brace for dry opener October 1, 2015 The Montana Standard 
... “Our outlook is much improved compared to four or five years ago,” added Region 1 wildlife manager Neil Anderson in Kalispell. “Whitetails are probably our No. 1 animal in northwest Montana now."  Elk populations across western Montana also show stable or increasing growth trends this year. ...

An Age-Old Pursuit Renewed October 1, 2015 Montana, FlatheadBeacon
...early 1890s ...  two residents in Demersville killed 1,500 deer in three months near the Flathead and Swan rivers for 30 cents per skin.  Hoping to protect big game populations for generations to come, in 1895 the newly formed State Fish and Game Commission established one of its first bedrock laws in the Montana territory. Hunters were limited to eight deer per year ...

2015 Deer Hunting Outlook September 30, 2015 Montana, RoundupWEB
... Spring trend surveys show that mule deer populations are up a healthy 20 percent from last year and are currently 16 percent above the long-term-average. Overwinter survival last year was good, and fawn recruitment this spring was excellent—65 yearlings per 100 adults. Buck ratios are high at 37 bucks per 100 does but there are a lot of young bucks in the population... characteristic of a population undergoing rapid population growth...

... a reward for information about three mule deer bucks that was killed and illegally dumped east of Billings late last week...

... “We’re finding a lot of deer on public land as well as private, in places where we were used to seeing them in the '90s and where they decreased in the 2000s,” ... Elk populations across western Montana also show stable or increasing growth trends this year. ..

2015 Deer Hunting Outlook September 18, 2015 Montana, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
...  a drop in mule deer numbers in many areas of Montana a few years ago will see improving populations this year as favorable weather and habitat conditions kicked in in 2014 and 2015.  Additionally, in many areas of the state, fawn recruitment has been excellent and populations are doing well...

Why is RMEF cheerleading for clearcuts? September 17, 2015 Montana, Independent Record
... The CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, David Allen, and I agree on one thing -- logging done right is a good thing... Allen also wrote that this timber sale protects snags for wildlife... Secure habitat on public lands is also critical to prevent the displacement of elk from public land onto private land during hunting season ...

Extended elk hunting season proposal under fire September 14, 2015 Montana, Missoulian
... The most controversial points of FWP’s proposed rule change is that bull elk could be killed and that landowners could provide recommendations about who could kill the animals. That’s a red flag to some hunters who see the changes as a way for property owners to, in essence, sell or own public wildlife...

Montana data:  In 2015 an estimated 264,546 mule deer and  about 195,000 whitetails for a total of about 460,000.   Favorable weather in 2014-15 has led to a fair improvement in white-tailed deer populations, stable in some areas.  See 2015 outlook.  In 2014 an estimated 181,086 white-tailed Deer and 273,756 mule deer for a total of about 455,000.. The 2015 spring survey showed white-tailed numbers about unchanged with mule deer numbers at or above averages from Glosgow and east but at or lower in the west, the Malta and Havre area.  Mule deer populations are up about 20 percent, fawn recruitment at 60 per 100 does was excellent, a healthy buck to doe ratio at 37 to 100.  About 100,000 hunters in 2015.  65 percent of the state’s the deer and 40 percent of the elk are on private property.
     For 2014 the mule deer harvest was 42 percent below the 10-year average, 7 percent below for white-tails, and 12 percent above for elk.  In 2013 an estimated 193,049 white-tailed and 218,883 mule deer. For 2014 FWP reports that in the northwest white-tailed deer are still recovering from the population low of 2009 and mule deer numbers are still low.  In the west white-tails are stable to increasing while mule deer are below average.  In the southwest white-tails are stable and mule deer are increasing somewhat from the lows of 2010-11.  A total of 281,000 mule deer estimated [PDF] for 2010
     In the southeast there has been above-average precipitation, mule deer herds have recovered somewhat to about 8 percent below the trend compared to 57 percent below the trend after the severe winters of 2009-10 and 2010-11.  The 2011 EHD outbreak reduced white-tail populations but they are recovering with an average of 61 yearlings per 100 adults in 2014 based on good forage and precipitation.   Deer in the northeast, Region 6, took a serious hit in the severe winter of 2010-11 with EHD (disease) further reducing whitetail populations, but they are re bounding in many areas. EHD is new to Montana and primarily affects whitetails.  Hunting will be restricted in Region 6 for 2014.  Elk populations are stable in the northwest, above average in the west, and slightly increasing in the southwest.  About 140,000 in 2014  Even in the Bitterroot area of the west, where the population had declined recently, biologists report an good calf crop. 
     A significant decline in the 2013 deer hunt, FWP has implemented restrictions to restore the herd including reduced hunting pressure, hunting of only mature male mule deer and only white-tailed bucks in three eastern regions.  
    Mule deer populations fell by about 55% from the 2006-2008 recent peak to 2012 as a result of severe winters from 2009 to 2011.   Mule deer populations have  been in a long decline, since the 1970's.  The winter of 96 - 97 took a heavy toll, doe licenses were substantially reduced in an effort to boost the population.  Revenues fell, tags were increased again, but when the population fell again, tags were cut.  One issue has been suppression of fire beginning in the 70's that improved deer habitat., but reasons for the decline are not well understood and under study.   Antelope populations have followed a similar pattern. The Effects of Special Mule Deer Buck Regulations on Mule Deer Populations and Harvest [PDF, 2011]
      White tail populations suffered from  a severe epidemic of episodic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in 2012.  Deer and elk populations have been doing better on private land than on public land where they are over hunted. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was been detected in deer at a game farm near Philipsburg in 1999.  In 1895 the set the first deer hunting limit, eight deer per hunter.
     Moose populations, which have been hunted since 1872, have been on the decline based on most of the data and FWP is trying to determine why.  Hunting, predation, parasites, and climate change are suspected factors.  Antelope have not recovered from the severe winter of 2010-11 and disease, currently at about 90,000.  About 650 wolves in 2012, 550 wolves in 2011.
     Legislation passed in 2003 gave cities permission to control deer populations with urban hunts.  Illegal to hunt white deer since 1997.
    A verified 554 wolves in 2014, down 12 percent from 2013, although the total is thought to be higher, 750 to 800 in 2015.  Thought to be virtulally extinct up to 1973.

Report poaching:  1.800.TIP.MONT  Reward of up to $1,000.  Callers can remain anonymous.  1-800-847-6668. 

Other useful links:
- Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
-- Fire.org ... issues concerning wildland fire planning, behavior, fuel, weather, and effects.

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What is the basis for Adaptive Harvest Management in Montana?
Research on mule deer populations and habitats began in the mid-1970s with an unexpected decline in mule deer populations in the western states. Researchers initiated mule deer population studies in the Bridger Mountains of southwest Montana, in the Missouri River Breaks of north-central Montana and in the prairie-badlands along Cherry Creek in the southeastern part of the state to learn what factors influence the number of mule deer from year-to-year. Today with more than 25 years of research on mule deer, this work is one of the most comprehensive studies of a big game species ever compiled in North America.
     Another mule deer population decline in the mid-1990s focused attention on the task of integrating the knowledge gained in the past 25 years into a systematic deer management strategy that can be applied consistently across the state. This is the work underway today.