With record breaking numbers at the Cameron check station during opening weekend, only 460 hunters passed through the final weekend, and only 57 had game, resulting in a 12 percent success rate for deer and elk.
Ennis’ annual Hunters’ Feed was Friday, Oct. 20. The event brought welcomed people from all over Madison County and the country to brave the rain and snow to try different wild game delicacies.
According to officials with the Montana Department of Livestock, brucellosis has been detected in a cattle herd in Madison County. The National Veterinary Services Lab in Iowa confirmed the disease, and the news came in the form of a DOL press release on Aug. 24.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks held an elk brucellosis working group meeting last week in an effort to review elk management options and the spread of brucellosis, according to a release from FWP.
In 2012, the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University and the Craighead Institute started a project to look at the effects of U.S. Highway 287 and MT Highway 87 in the Madison Valley on road related wildlife mortality and movement patterns, said Lance Craighead of the Craighead Institute.
The first elk count surveys for the 2017 year are out for both the Madison and Ruby valleys, and both surveys show increased and healthy elk populations.
An estimated $324 million in 2016 alone circulates through Montana as a result of big game hunting, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. That figure includes resident and non-resident spending and combines elk, deer and antelope hunters, according to a FWP economic impact study.
Nov. 26 and 27, the final weekend of the general deer and elk hunting season in Southwest Montana, saw little change in hunter harvest success, according to FWP’s Andrea Jones.
“At the end of last (hunting) season we had 8,700 elk in that country,” Waltee said. “Coming out of winter, we had about 2,400 calves on the ground, so we probably started this season with 11,100 elk, or somewhere around there.”
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