Montana is experiencing a large decline in CRP acreage along the northern tier of the state, which may have an impact on hunting experiences in Regions 4 and 6. Based on crow counts and brood sightings in Region 6, numbers vary from below average and slightly down from last year near Havre, to average and the same as last year near Malta and Glasgow, to well above average in the northeast corner of the state. In good pheasant habitats in central Montana—such as around Conrad and Lewistown—pheasants are “average with an optimistic outlook,” according to Region 4 Wildlife Manager Graham Taylor. Likewise in Region 5, 3 and 7, the season should be average and better than last year. In northwestern Montana, brood survival appears to be good on the Ninepipe Wildlife Management Area but drought has impacted habitat so hunting conditions could be tough. Numbers in the Flathead Valley are holding steady.