Montana wildlife officials have been asking to look in hunter’s game bags since the early 1900s. Originally the counts were limited to what backcountry wardens on horseback saw hanging on game poles. Some stations are simply pickup trucks on the roadside; others are portable trailers set up for the season where FWP staff can enter data into computers and stay warm and dry. FWP gathers detailed harvest information from winter hunter phone surveys and monitors wildlife populations using aerial counts and other methods.

The Darby check station is the one we’re most interested in again this year. Guessing the number of elk through that check station could win you either a $300 or a $500 gift certificate from Sportsman’s Warehouse.  It’s easy to enter the contest. Get your guess in before the deadline.