Antlerless Deer Licenses Available



Hunters in FWP’s Region 6 will have additional opportunities to harvest antlerless mule deer and white-tailed deer during the general 2009 big game season, officials said Monday.

That’s because two special deer management seasons in a limited number of hunting districts will take place the same time as the general season, said FWP Region 6 Supervisor Pat Gunderson. Nonresidents participating in the hunts can purchase the licenses at reduced prices.

In Hunting Districts 630, 640, 641, 650, 651 and 670, Gunderson said a total of 2,000 additional 699-01 “B” licenses for antlerless white-tailed deer will be authorized. Also in Hunting District 640, which encompasses the far northeastern corner of the state, a total of 200 additional 640-01 “B” licenses for antlerless mule deer will be authorized. Both of these license types will be available for sale online and at all license providers starting Aug. 17 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Only those hunters holding a 699-00 or a 640-00 prerequisite license will be eligible to participate in the management seasons. The management season licenses will cost $10 apiece for Montana residents. Nonresident hunters will need to buy a $75 prerequisite license to be eligible to purchase management season licenses for $20 each.

For the general 2009 big game season, each hunter may possess up to seven “Deer B” licenses in any combination via drawing, over-the-counter, or surplus purchase. Because the special management seasons are administratively separate from the general season, hunters may purchase up to four more of the 699-01 or 640-01 licenses — or a combination of these two license types — apiece. That means hunters who participate in the special management seasons in Region 6 are allowed to possess up to 11 “Deer B” tags.

In past years deer management seasons — used to control populations of big game animals that are over objectives — typically took place after the general hunting season was over.

But Gunderson said a continuing trend of high deer populations in these districts and a desire to get deer harvested during the general season to take advantage of existing hunters and lessen impacts on private landowners prompted the action earlier this year.

In Hunting District 640, surveys show that mule deer numbers have increased steadily over the past five years. While biologists say mule deer numbers dropped about 39 percent during the severe winter of 2008-09, they are still above 10-year averages. There is very limited winter cover or forage in the district, and agricultural damage has been increasing.

Regarding whitetails, Gunderson said deer numbers in Hunting Districts 630, 640, 641, 650, 651 and 670 have been above long-term averages since 2002.   In Hunting Districts 630, 650 and 651, and 670 west of Highway 24, whitetail numbers have increased up to 54 % above long-term averages.

Rapidly increasing whitetail numbers brought a corresponding increase in depredation on private land.   Gunderson noted that numerous hunters and landowners have expressed concern to FWP regarding very high whitetail numbers and associated agricultural damages, especially along the Milk River corridor. He said damages to standing crops are already occurring in many areas, and damage to stored silage and hay is expected to take place again this winter.

“These measures are one way we can help reduce that damage,” Gunderson said. For more information about the special deer management seasons, call (406) 228-3700.  The rlease can be found here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email