Harvest numbers for deer and elk on the Rocky Mountain Front have picked up with the change in the weather.
“Over half of this season’s harvest has come in the last week,” says Brent Lonner, Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist. “The major factors have been the significant cold and snowy weather we had last week along with the deer rut picking up and hunters starting to focus more on deer.”
The numbers were collected at FWP’s Augusta check station– the department’s sole Region 4 biological check station – and apply only to a handful of hunting districts on the Rocky Mountain Front.
Elk hunters so far have brought in 181 animals (86 bulls, 78 cows and 17 calves) compared to the 10-year average of 169 elk.
“Sun River elk finally made their first push into the Sun River Wildlife Management Area,” Lonner says, “but a high percentage of this herd is still in the backcountry.”
Mule deer at the check station have numbered 109 bucks. The 10-year average is 171 animals.
White-tailed deer numbers stand at 138 (88 bucks, 43 does and seven fawns), while the 10-year average is 124.
The general deer and elk season runs through Nov. 30.
(Report by Montana FWP)