At the end of the third weekend of Montana’s big game general season on the Rocky Mountain Front, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer harvest numbers continue to be below the 10-year average, a state wildlife biologist says.
The numbers were collected at Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ check station in Augusta.
“Elk are only about six percent below average,” says Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist. “Most of the elk are still in the backcountry due to mild weather. Mule deer are about 15 percent below average; however, the mule deer harvest typically picks up the last half of the season due to the rut. The whitetail harvest continues to remain about two-thirds of normal due to lower numbers of deer from EHD.”
While the numbers at the Augusta check station – FWP Region 4’s sole biological check station – apply only to a handful of hunting districts on the Rocky Mountain Front, they often mirror conditions elsewhere in north central Montana.
Elk hunters so far have brought in 145 animals (55 bulls, 76 cows and 14 calves) compared to the 10-year average of 153 elk.
Mule deer at the check station have numbered 110 (94 bucks, 15 does and one fawn). The 10-year average is 128 animals.
White-tailed deer numbers this year in Augusta stand at 60 (31 bucks, 18 does and 11 fawns), while the 10-year average is 90.
(Report by Montana FWP)