Big game hunt opens October 26

The big game hunt opens October 26 in Montana. The general deer and elk season is October 26 to December 1 according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

President of Yellowstone Hunt Club Richard Cope said he has fond memories of hunting with his dad and grandfather.

Cope said, "We were walking in about two feet of snow. So, as a fourth or fifth grader walking through the snow, carrying different aspects of animals, trying to get it to the truck was something that was very memorable. One of the few hunts I got to do with my grandfather, as he is from Indiana. So, he is from a long ways away and come out here to hunt."

Now, Cope also hunts with his kids. He says hunting is important to help feed his family.

He said, "My family lives on big game that I shoot, either myself, or now, my son. Whether it's elk or deer, anything you can do with beef, I can do with big game. And honestly, probably better.

Cope says Chronic Wasting Disease is a big concern. Montana Fish, Wildlife and parks has Chronic Wasting Disease or CWD Management Zones. 

2019 CWD Map

They say if you are hunting in a CWD Management Zone, some carcass parts cannot be removed from the management zone: whole carcass, whole head, brain and spinal column.

FWP said you can take meat cut and wrapped or separated from the bone, hides with no heads attached, quarters or parts with no spine or head attached, skull plates, antlers or skulls with no tissue.

FWP said animals harvested inside a CWD Management Zone can be taken to a CWD sampling check station to be sampled. This year, FWP said they are "paying for the testing of CWD samples from hunter-harvested deer, elk and moose anywhere in the state regardless of whether they are in a management zone or sampling area."

FWP also said bears are very active this time of year as they are preparing for hibernation. They said hunters should always have bear spray on them and keep it in a place they can easily access it. They also recommend hunting in pairs or groups.

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