Posted: Oct 22, 2012 2:01 PM by Tara Oster - MTN News
Updated: Oct 22, 2012 2:12 PM
Many Montana residents spent their weekend celebrating the first days of hunting season.
The number of hunters out for opening day appears to be pretty average, despite warmer temperatures.
Some of those hunters found couple of anomalies over the weekend which may mean that hunters are in for a good season.
Check station technicians usually don't start seeing lots of elk come through until later in the season, but hunters bagged four on opening day.
Technician Ray Washtak noted, "Three of them were bulls and one cow - pretty nice six-point bull, one of them."
Washtak says he also saw two black bears come in first thing Sunday morning.
He noted, "That's a little unusual to get two in a row here but the hunters are out there and they're after them so it's looking pretty good so far this year."
And it's looking pretty good for 19-year-old Jessie Compton who shot her first elk on Sunday.
Jessie said, : "We just went up and over the notch and there was like eight cow elk and we waited and up came the bull and I shot him as soon as he stepped out in front of the tree."
It's a proud moment for Compton who's been trying her luck for a few years now: "I was so excited because I've been trying for like three years; I shot a tree, I just couldn't find any, so finally I got something so I was super excited."
FWP wants hunters to be keeping their eyes peeled for moose because they're about to start a big research project.
Check station technician Lindsey Stutzman said, "We love getting as many moose sightings as possible. So if folks see them while they're out in the woods, it's good to let us know about them."
For the rest of the game animals, incoming weather has Washtak hopeful for a good season: "Tracking weather is coming. We've got a front coming in here this week so I anticipate that it's just going to get better as the season goes on."