Montana has long been known as the deer factory. This state has some of the highest populations of deer in the country. We looked at some of the best regions to hunt and the type of deer found there.
In this area not all places have high deer numbers. The highest numbers are seen northwest of Billings. Other areas in this region to have high deer numbers is the Musselshell River. This is where most of the deer come to source water. This high population area extends all the way to Snowy Mountain foothills. White tail deer numbers in this area continue to increase since the disease outbreak in 2011 that severely thinned out the herds. Many of the elk spend most of the hunting season in private land which is hard to access.
When you more further to the northwest of Montana then you will notice that the white tail deer are more common in this region. The mule deer is well spread across the rest of Montana and finding white tail is difficult in other regions. That is not the case here. You will receive some of the best white deer hunting in this region. The snowpack in 2017 has been exceptional and did not lead to the death of so many deer fawns as earlier expected. There was however a reduction in the number of antlerless tags handed out.
Mule deer in this region remain at their average numbers this year. There was less white tailed deer in the North fork and Flathead River.
Now let us talk about where the cream of the crop is at. Deer numbers in western Montana are just increasing every year. In fact Elk numbers have been the highest in this region over the past half century in Montana. Hunters hoping to get some of the bigger game should register to hunt on the private land. The deer turn to the irrigated private land when forest fires destroy their natural habitat. This is mainly due to the super dry weather.
White tailed deer are on the rise in this area so more for the hunters. The fawns are getting better at surviving the winter. Most does in this area are having twins which is great news for any hunter. Mule deer will be limited in this area if that is what you wanted to hunt. You will be required to attain a B-license via the state wide process.
The number of white tailed deer in this region has increased tremendously after being low due to a disease outbreak. The disease was spread by biting midge. Hunters were cautioned on the spread of the disease and required to do their part to reduce the spread. Previous to the attack there was an abundance of white tail deer in the region. It however became apparent that Mother Nature does not allow the stockpiling of wildlife. This is clear by either fires or disease the game is kept at an optimum level.
Also see our reviews of hunting gear related to your next upcoming deer season.