According to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks the three west-central Montana hunter check stations reported seeing 2500 hunters over the October 20 weekend. Those hunters brought in 118 elk, 35 mule deer and 65 white tail deer.The number of hunters is a significant drop compared to the last few years, however the number of kills is above average.

FWP spokesperson Vivica Crowser says that "what was notable is that most of the elk came through the Darby ranger check station and most of those elk came out of the Big Hole Valley."

Another interesting finding was that most of the deer that came through the Bonner  check station were young white tail bucks. This is a good sign that the heard is adopting younger members into the ranks and that the population will be more successful in the near future. If this is the case, there could be looser hunting restrictions on white tail in that area in the coming years.

Crowser also says