Harvest studies are trickling in, however there’s nonetheless no clear image of the season
Though there are scattered late-season alternatives throughout the Northwest, most hunters are settling into post-season routines, and deer appear to be heading towards post-rut habits.
In Montana, mule deer are starting to type bigger herds that embody does and a number of bucks. You possibly can nonetheless witness the occasional lip curl or chasing, however many of the focus appears to be on feeding greater than breeding. Most whitetails are additionally on this post-rut section. Daylight exercise has dwindled, and plenty of greater bucks have vanished.
Northwestern states range on reporting necessities, so there’s nonetheless no clear image of the season. Hunters in Wyoming might need already obtained a harvest survey through e mail or via the U.S. Postal Service. Profitable and unsuccessful Idaho hunters are required to report, however they’ve a number of weeks earlier than the studies are due. Montana wildlife officers will start accumulating harvest knowledge through phone within the coming months.
Montana officers have already got some knowledge due to wildlife examine stations throughout the state. In northwestern Montana, in the course of the second-to-last weekend of the season, elk harvest was up, however deer harvest was down — for whitetails and mule deer. Nonetheless, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officers anticipated these numbers to extend as a result of, at the moment, hunters nonetheless had the ultimate week of the season whereas the rut was in full swing.
In west-central Montana, examine stations reported extra success than in 2021 in the course of the fourth week of Montana’s five-week normal season. That was regardless of hunter site visitors slowing down at examine stations due to bitterly chilly climate. Apparently, Montana’s Augusta examine station reported the fewest hunters handed via the station in 30 years and the second-lowest harvest of animals up to now 40 years. That counters the pattern for the remainder of the area, the place officers say chilly and snowy climate helped hunters publish greater harvests than in 2021.
Though extra full surveys throughout the Northwest will reveal higher harvest statistics within the coming months, hunters are already waiting for the 2023 season. In the event you had been one of many hundreds of nonresident hunters hoping to take a shot at looking deer in Idaho, shopping for a tag might need been tougher than getting a shot at a deer. Idaho Fish and Recreation opened tag gross sales to nonresidents Dec. 1. The company skilled file demand. About 67,000 hunters tried to purchase tags, which induced large delays, system shutdowns and intensely annoyed hunters. Idaho Fish and Recreation later apologized for the fiasco, however for the hundreds of nonresident hunters who gained’t get a shot at Idaho subsequent yr, it doesn’t sting any much less.
(Do not Miss: Critical Sleeper States with Massive Whitetails)