GREAT FALLS – Warm and dry weather greeted hunters for the opening weekend of Montana’s general hunting season on Saturday. But despite the less-than-ideal hunting weather, overall success rates for hunters stopping at the Augusta check station in Region 4 were slightly above average.
A total of 209 hunters stopped at the station on Saturday and Sunday, which is about 4% lower than the ten-year average of 217 hunters on opening weekend, but substantially higher than the 164 hunters who stopped on opening weekend of 2022.
Although hunter numbers may have been slightly lower, the overall harvest success rate for hunters on opening weekend this year was 19%, which is better than the ten-year average of 16%, and the 14% success rate seen in 2022.
Hunters checked 15 elk at the station, which was 30% above average for opening weekend, and substantially higher than 2022 when only four elk were checked.
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With the warm weather, the migratory Sun River elk herd did not yet seem to be making any significant movements towards their winter range on the Sun River WMA, although the cold and snow which moved into the area