The first days of Montana's general hunting season saw more elk brought through the Darby Check Station since 2011, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports this week. Hunters took 73 elk in the first weekend, versus 50 elk last year. Only two mule deer were checked through, and 9 white-tailed deer. The hunter totals were the highest in four years, with 1,012 checking through the station. Snow depth was reported from the SnoTel stations at 17 inches, higher than in the last five years. The Darby station is south of Darby toward Conner on US 93.

Hunters, whether they are successful or not, are supposed to stop in the check stations. Looking at the rest of the West-Central Region numbers, 10 elk were reported at both the Bonner and Anaconda stations, 53 white-tailed deer were checked at the Bonner station, and 9 at Darby and 9 at Anaconda. Restrictions on mule deer hunting showed up with only two checked through Darby, one at Anaconda and three at Bonner. Hunting season runs through December 1st.