2017 Northern Rockies Deer Forecast
By: D.H. Willis
The northern Rocky Mountains boast such abundance of wild public lands that some people choose to live here just because of that
Deer hunters in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have a lot to chose from, with millions of acres in national forests, BLM and national monument lands. Let’s take closer look at what hunters could expect this fall.
2017 Montana Deer Forecast
The deer population in Montana is stable to increasing, depending on where hunters are at in this big state full of some of the most varied public lands in the West.
Mule deer predominate in much of the state, with whitetail concentrations high in the northwest.
Deer herds recovered well from the lows in 2014, said John Vore, biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
“Our mule deer population is doing real well,” he noted. “They recovered from the lows in 2014. They are going gangbusters, particularly in region 7 in eastern Montana.”
The northwestern part of Montana is an exception to the trend upward. Whitetails there went through a tough winter there last year.
“Northwest Montana did take a bit of a hit last winter,” said Vore. “They got an awful lot of snow up there. Our staff has expressed some concern about the area. The rest of the state is doing great.”
Montana sportsmen study the regulations carefully because the regs are extensive and varied. “We fine-tune the management not only to the resource and habitat, but also for what sportsmen want,” explained Vore.
With lots of deer, some areas are managed for older more mature bucks and other areas more for venison in the freezer.
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