R4: Season Ends with Elk Numbers Near Average
By angelamontana

Posted: November 27, 2017

Hunters this fall on a portion of the Rocky Mountain Front west of Augusta averaged about the same number of elk as the past 10 years, said a state wildlife biologist.

Deer numbers varied, depending on the species.

“The total elk harvest was five percent below the 10-year average,” said Brent Lonner, Fish, Wildlife and Park wildlife biologist. “Similar to other years, the elk harvest this year peaked during the second and third week of the season when snow and cold arrived.”

The mule deer harvest was 15 percent below the 10-year average, with bucks making up 93 percent of the harvest.

For white-tailed deer the number taken was 14 percent above the long-term average. Bucks made up about two-thirds of the total.

The general deer and elk season ended Nov. 26.

The numbers were collected at the Augusta check station – FWP Region 4’s sole biological check station – and apply only to a handful of hunting districts on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Elk hunters this year brought in 315 animals (180 bulls, 109 cows and 26 calves) compared to the 10-year average of 331 elk.

Mule deer numbered 236 bucks, 16 does and one fawn for a total of 253. The 10-year average is 297.

With whitetails, the count in Augusta was 341 (221 bucks, 98 does and 22 fawns); while the 10-year average is 292.

“This year’s data collection went real smooth at the Augusta check station,” Lonner said, “mostly because of the four seasonal workers there: Houston Thompson, Laurie Stone, Ted White and Alan ‘Chico’ Kinkaid for all their work. Also, some recognition needs to go to area warden Brady Murphy as well as other Region 4 wardens who assisted this year at the check station from time to time.”