Elk Harvest Surge on Rocky Mtn Front
By Kamp Cook
Harvest numbers for elk on a portion of the Rocky Mountain Front continue to be above the long-term average, says an Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist.
“This past weekend was the busiest weekend thus far at the check station with lots of hunters out,” said Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist. “As a result, the total elk harvest is about 25 percent above the 10-year average. Earlier cold and snowy weather created an initial surge of elk onto the Sun River Wildlife Management Area. Approximately 1,000 elk are on the WMA now.”
Deer hunting has also picked up, Lonner said, with the mule deer harvest just four percent below the long-term average and the white-tailed deer harvest 15 percent above the 10-year average.
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 225 animals (131 bulls, 76 cows and 18 calves) compared to the 10-year average of 168 elk.
Mule deer at the check station have numbered 136 animals (125 bucks, 10 does and one fawn). The 10-year average is 142 animals.
White-tailed deer totals stand at 151 (92 bucks, 47 does and 12 fawns), while the 10-year average is 128.
Because hunting district 442’s quota of 100 antlerless or brow-tined elk was reached on Nov. 12, the district will remain open to hunting brow-tined bull elk only through Nov. 26, which is the end of the general deer and elk season.