Hunter Participation Up During Montana Antelope Season

Biologists report antelope season hunter participation is up in southwest Montana given early data gathered at the Kidd check station south of Dillon on opening weekend and anecdotal reports from around the region.

Specifically at the Kidd station on Oct. 8 and Oct.9, staff spoke with 251 antelope hunters. 158 Harvested at least one antelope. A total of 173 antelope were checked over the weekend leading to an overall success rate of 63 percent, up from 61 percent the year before.

Area Biologist Dean Waltee says weather conditions and population numbers contributed to hunter success, and says even the unsuccessful hunters saw antelope during their outings.

“All but a few hunters reported at least observing antelope, and only one percent saw no game animals at all,” said Waltee.

In general, Waltee advises hunters to avoid large crowds to improve the experience and chance of harvest – especially on opening weekend.

Waltee also reminds hunters they are required to stop at check stations whether they were successful or not, and that they need to keep evidence of sex naturally attached to one hind quarter of a headless or quartered big game animal, or to a muscle from one hind quarter of a boned out big game animal.