The number of hunters at Fish, Wildlife and Parks check stations during the first two weekends of the general big-game hunting season is down from last year, and the deer harvest was reportedly lower than 2016. KTVQ.com reports that FWP operated four check stations this year at Columbus, Laurel, Big Timber and Lavina. 1,705 hunters checked 109 white-tailed deer – down from last year – and 225 mule deer – also down from 2016.

They checked 120 elk, which is up from 76 a year ago. FWP also opened a new check station in Billings Heights, and FWP wildlife biologist Megan O’Reilly checked 357 hunters during the first two weekends of the big-game season, checking three white-tailed deer, 72 mule deer and 27 elk along with 13 antelope and a bighorn sheep. 32 percent had reportedly harvested an animal.