This year may be the year you successfully fill your freezer. Finally, a chance for you to bag a big game animal. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks have released their annual hunting season forecast for 2022.

Using biologist data, FWP predicts the possible harvest for this Fall.

Across the board, it appears all regions of Montana are benefiting from the mild winters we have experienced the last few years. The survival rates of both fawn deer and calf elk are up in almost every corner of the state. Meaning that there should be an abundance of mature animals for the annual harvest.

Western Montana looks like it will have a good year for both deer and elk harvests.

The mild winters have really paid off for production and mortality numbers in western Montana. With whitetail and elk seeing spikes in population.

According to the FWP forecast for western Montana

White-tailed deer numbers have been on an upward trend in recent years after several hard winters suppressed recruitment between 2017-2019. Three consecutive mild winters have contributed to normal overwinter elk calf survival, which should pay dividends for hunters on public lands this year and in the coming years. Mule deer hunters should plan to go high in the mountains for the best opportunity at bigger bucks.

With big game archery season kicking off this Labor Day weekend, many Montanans, including myself, are gearing up to head to the field. It is important to be aware of the high temperatures expected this weekend. Take precautions for the extreme heat, and plan ahead on how you will process and cool an animal in the field, should you be fortunate enough to bag one.

General hunting season 2022 (rifle season) kicks off October 22nd and runs through November 27th

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