2020 Montana Whitetail Deer Hunting Season
The 2020 Montana whitetail deer season should be excellent here at Linehan Outfitting.
Winter kill is the biggest annual factor affecting whitetail deer populations here in extreme northwest Montana. Predation is also a big factor but the sheer volume of snow and duration of winter will always be hardest on local deer densities and other ungulates.
Deep snow from November through March is toughest on whitetail deer but make no mistake. Whitetail deer don’t necessarily freeze to death. Deep snow makes it very difficult for them to find food sources. If food sources become scarce, whitetail deer have to travel farther and more often to sustain themselves. Additionally, deep snow makes it more difficult for whitetail deer to travel to and from food sources.
Whitetail deer have an abundance of food and a good life for most of the year here on the Kootenai National Forest. They subsist on over 70 species of plants and browse. Deep snow in winter cuts local whitetail deer food sources in half and makes their survival even more challenging.
We did not experience a particularly bad winter this year. Prospects for the upcoming hunting season look terrific. Snowpack was minimal at lower and middle elevations. And significant snow didn’t even fall until the first of January. Post rut bucks are stressed and generally short on body fat. Late snow gives them the opportunity and more time to get back in shape since food sources are still readily available.
Winter kill was minimal this year. We are seeing healthy numbers of one year old whitetail deer and high populations of adults as well. By all accounts the local population of whitetail deer is in great shape. We are expecting an outstanding 2020 Montana whitetail deer season. November is just six months away. Start hitting the range once a week.