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In: Shadow of the Rockies

Severe winter weather shut down two out of three big game check stations in southeastern Montana on Sunday, the last day of antelope rifle season. Poor visibility and icy road conditions prompted FWP to cancel biological check stations at Hysham and Mosby.

A check station was held at Ashland on Sunday, but the adverse weather greatly reduced hunter traffic.

“The weather was very nice on Saturday, with temperatures reaching the 70s, but Sunday brought rain, freezing rain and snow in the morning with cold and wind, creating a blustery day,” said Wildlife Biologist Ryan DeVore.
“With the pending storm, apparently some hunters headed back home on Saturday,” DeVore said.

Similar to opening weekend, the Ashland station was again slower than in recent years. According to DeVore, only 57 hunting parties came through on Sunday with a total of 117 hunters. Thirty-one people were successful, for a harvest success of 26 percent, which is lower than the last couple of years.
“With the forecast calling for highs in the 40s and 50s for the next week or so, hopefully conditions will be much more conducive for good deer movement and hunting weather,” he said.

“Despite overall success being down this weekend, it was very nice to see the smiling faces of a few newer hunters who harvested their first deer, elk or antelope this weekend,” DeVore noted.

The harvest at Ashland included:
– 13 antelope (10 bucks, 3 does)
– 22 mule deer (16 bucks, 6 does)
– 2 white-tailed deer (1 buck, 1 doe), and
– 2 elk (1 cow, 1 calf)