So far, general rifle season for Western Montana appears to be a carbon copy of 2015.

"If you look region wide and you look at the total number of animals that passed through one of the three check stations, we are at the same number we were at after opening weekend last year: 212 animals harvested this year and last," said Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Region 2 Public Information Officer Vivaca Crowser. "What did very a bit was the number of hunters who were out. We actually had fewer hunters out this year than last year, so the success rate for those hunters who went out was up."

The mule deer harvest continued its downward trend, but the Bonner check station was busy with white tail.

"We had 79 whitetail through Bonner, which was 41 percent up from last year and 55 percent above the five year average," said Crowser." We see a few whitetails come through the other check stations, through Darby and Anaconda, but most of them come out of the Blackfoot and come through the Bonner check station. Elk harvest was down in the Darby and Anaconda check stations, but was identical to last year at the Bonner check station where we saw 21 elk."

Crowser says the decrease in the number of hunters is likely due to heavy rain over the weekend.

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