BOZEMAN – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks report that most check stations in southwest Montana saw high numbers of elk come through compared to other years on the fifth weekend of the hunting season.

Despite high winds, the highest harvest rate was seen in the Paradise Valley at 30.3 percent as the Livingston check station staff met with 175 hunters harvesting 34 deer and 19 elk.

Hunter harvest at Divide was over 100 percent greater than last year while numbers declined at Mill Creek to just 3 elk harvested.

Area biologists attribute the change to elk having moved through the Pintler and Mount Haggin areas and now concentrating on winter ranges to the east.

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“After we had that significant weather event, we started to see elk and deer really begin to move,” said Andrea Jones, Information and Education manager for FWP. “Elk, we’re seeing moving to winter range and hunters following suit and doing really well because of that.”

MTN’s Kenneth Webb