Migratory waterfowl hunters on the Flathead Indian Reservation encountered good weather conditions for their efforts on the waterfowl hunting season opening day, Saturday, September 30th. Hunters encountered calm weather with intermittent light rain, and many of them had good success harvesting ducks, geese, mergansers and coots. The Tribal Wildlife Management Program monitored the harvest at two hunter check stations, one south of Ronan and another south of Arlee. Tribal Wildlife Biologists, assisted by Wildlife Biology students from the University of Montana visited with 100 bird hunters and recorded a total of 215 ducks and teal and 37 geese. Hunters also harvested 6 gray partridge.
Dale Becker, Tribal Wildlife Program Manager, noted that water conditions in the Mission Valley were generally good for waterfowl production early in the summer, although many wetland basins had dried up by mid-September. Nesting cover on Tribal, State and Federal Wildlife habitats was also conducive to good waterfowl production, as well as for other species of grassland birds.
The hunting season for most waterfowl extends from September 30, 2017 through January 7, 2018, with a closure during the period of January 8 through January 12, 2018. A second open season for migratory waterfowl hunting then commences on January 13, 2018 and extends through January 18, 2018. Hunting for scaup closes on December 24, 2017.