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MT – HUNTING – Things to know for deer and elk hunting season starting Saturday

The snow might be falling in Montana but that won’t stop hunters from going out this weekend and taking advantage of the start of deer and elk hunting season. The 2020 deer and elk hunting season starts Oct. 24 and ends Nov. 29 with a few changes. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Information and Education Program Manager Morgan Jacobsen with Region 3 Headquarters in Bozeman said that this will be the first season where hunters will have paper carcass tags. Jacobsen said they want to make sure hunters keep those tags protected from the weather so keep them in a sealed bag or laminate them. If you think your kill might have chronic wasting disease you can take samples of the carcass to stations around the state, but Jacobsen said they are paying the fee for you. “Sampling for chronic wasting disease is optional at the discretion of the hunter so you’re not required to get a sample taken but certainly welcome to do so and fish, wildlife and parks again will pay the fee to have those tested for the hunters however if hunters encounter a game check station which is different from a CWD sampling station they are required by law to stop at those game check stations.,” Jacobsen said. Hunters will have to wear masks at all check and sampling stations and staff will work to limit crowding. Once you get that kill if you choose not to leave your animal at the kill site, you can still take it home and get it processed but make sure you take the rest to a designated landfill. Cold temperatures are expected for the first weekend of the hunting season but Mallory Walser, an experienced cold weather hunter with stints in Montana, Minnesota, and Alaska, said the cold temperatures and snow can be good and bad for the hunt. “It can be a win and a loss, good because they might not see you, bad because you might not be able to see them as well so that’s going to determine if you have good glass like good binoculars and a good spotting scope,” Walser explained. “You’ll really be able to tell what kind of animal you’re going after like how big your buck is or if that doe is alone or what not.”  [full article]

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