With less than a week left in this year's general hunting season, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks weekend report shows a steady but average hunt in the Bitterroot Valley and elsewhere in Montana Region 2.

Vivaca Crowser reports the Darby Check Station had 2,930 total hunters as of Monday, which is about 400 below the usual number in the last five years. FWP Biologist Rebecca Mowry said the total number of successful hunts was up so far this year, with an eight percent success rate, compared to the seven percent successes for hunters in the Bitterroot districts in the last five years. Total number of all elk, deer and other animals in season was 231, less than last year, but above the three previous years. The differences in numbers were small.

Mowry said there were 146 elk checked through the Darby checkpost, which is very close to previous years. An average number of mule deer were brought through with 27 reported, compared to 35 last year at this time. Only 54 white-tailed deer were taken, down from last year's 71. However, that's better than the previous two years.

Elsewhere in the West-central hunting district, the Anaconda check station had lower numbers than the previous three years, with 200 less hunters. While elk numbers were slightly up, the deer totals were down.

The Bonner check point numbers were slightly below last year. However, most of the white-tailed deer taken in region 2 come through the Bonner checkpoint, and that continues this year with 262 so far, compared to 318 last year. In previous years, there have been as many as 400 white-tailed deer recorded at Bonner in successful hunts.

Hunters will be in the field until sunset Sunday, November 29. Be careful out there.

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