Hunters were hoping the cold and the snow would boost a slow start to the hunting season, but Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said they didn’t see any change by late Saturday afternoon.
NBC Montana stopped by a check station in Bonner, east of Missoula, just in time to see a hunter haul in a young buck, but FWP biologist Jay Kolbe said the vast majority of trucks driving through are empty.
"Traffic through the station's been real steady,” said Kolbe. “So the volume of hunters - folks getting out and trying - has been about what we'd expect, but we're just not getting the kind of harvest that I would have expected today."
White tail deer harvests are a bright spot, but the latest hunting numbers released last Monday showed elk harvests are down more than 20 percent from last year.
Kolbe said he still think the improving conditions will show when the latest numbers are released on Monday. We'll keep you posted.