Alan Sorensen Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The number of hunters who passed through the Havre check station following the first weekend of big game season in north-central wasn’t up much over last year, a wildlife biologist on duty said, but the number of carcasses was. “We were so darn busy there (Monday), I didn’t have time to tie my shoe,” said Al Rosgaard, wildlife biologist with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks at Havre. “We didn’t get a chance to sit down all afternoon, pretty much all day.” Rosgaard, who tallied the number of mule deer taken but not whitetail or elk, said the numbers for both bucks and does were up in every direction. “For the first weekend, we checked just about the same number of hunters,” he said. “We checked 131 (deer hunters) compared to 125 last year, but they were a lot more successful. We had 95 mule deer compared to 62 last year. He attributed the high success rate to good weather conditions during the first weekend. He added that the mule deer populations around the surrounding area have been on the increase during the last year or two. “They’re successful on deer both in the prairie country to the north, in the Bear Paw and down in the Breaks area,” he said. “We’re checking a lot of deer from the east around Malta and Glasgow, where the numbers had been low the last couple of years. “It kind of holds true for both the numbers of bucks and antlerless deer that we’ve checked.” Rosgaard said rains in the spring and early summer seemed to have helped the harvest of sizable racks and to put smiles on the hunters. “It looks like they had a good year growing antlers,” he said. “The forage was great during most of the summer. The size seems to be good, even in the younger bucks this year. Mostly happy hunters were coming through the check stand.” Elk hunters appear to have things going their way, too, Rosgaard said. “The elk hunters looks like they’re doing pretty well, both here in the mountains and in the breaks south of Malta and south of Glasgow,” he said. “We’ve checked elk from all those areas.” And the younger hunters, the 12- to 15-year-olds who got a three-day jump on the season Thursday, seem to have cashed in, as well, he said. He added that some of them did well south of Malta. “There was a limited number of them,” Rosgaard said. “ We actually saw some of them at the check station who were successful; some that were happy young hunters.” Rosgaard said more numbers on the big game animals taken would be available as the season progresses.