Last Thursday, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks held its annual deer and elk permit drawings, after which a computer error was discovered that affected about three percent of applications in 10 Montana hunting districts.

On the KGVO Montana Outdoor Radio Show early Saturday morning, hosts Mark Ward and Dale Moore spoke with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department Director Hank Worsuch about what happened.

“We did the drawing, and we did it I think it was on Thursday, and everything went really well until we found out that some of the people that put in, when they went and looked they couldn't see anything at all on whether or not they were successful or unsuccessful.”

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Worsuch explained what happened with the drawing.

“We're in the process of changing over,” he said. “If you see we've got the new system up with the app online, you can put the carcass tags online on your phone, so we moved over to that. So the issue was under the old system it still allowed people to put in for a second and third choice, and then when we would get the drawing, the drawing was set up to follow with the Commission said which said first and only choice in those districts so if you put in a second choice, it omitted you from the drawing.”

Worsuch acknowledged the stress that hunters go through every year waiting to see if they received their deer or elk tags.

“There's always a lot of fear and panic for this because of the passion,” he said. “You know, everybody waits for this day and when it happens and then something like this occurs, they kind of freak out a little bit. But no, it will not change anybody else who drew a tag; it's just the 10 districts that drew a permit. This is normal and if you went to the drawing either got a permit or your bonus point if you apply for it.”

Worsuch said the computer error has been corrected in the affected districts and hunters will receive the tags they were awarded.

“There are 10 districts and we have some that they put in for it and we consider it like a surplus,” he said. “What happened was there was the supply exceeded the demand. So those districts have 411-21 447-21 and 595-21. And similarly we have 270-45 which was Unlimited, which you had to make your first and only choice. So, those people will all be issued their permit next week.”

Under administrative rule, Director Worsuch has the discretion to issue permits up to 10 percent above the quota. This 10 percent will be allocated in these second drawings.

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