R4: Elk, Mule Deer Harvest Down, Whitetail Harvest Up Slightly on Front
By angelamontana

Posted: November 5, 2018

Elk and mule deer harvest on the Rocky Mountain Front continues to lag behind long-term averages, probably because of continued mild weather, a state wildlife biologist said.

“Mild weather continues to be a significant factor in slowing harvest success along with hunter participation,” said Brent Lonner, Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist.

Elk harvest is 41 percent below the 10-year average, and mule deer numbers are 54 percent below the 10-year average.

White-tailed deer harvest, however, is up slightly over the long-term average.

“White-tailed deer harvest is 6% above the 10-year average,” Lonner said. “Increased antlerless harvest continues to be the driving factor for above average harvest.”

The numbers were collected at FWP’s check station in Augusta, 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 season have brought in 68 animals (33 bulls, 32 cows and 3 calves) compared to the 10-year average of 115 elk.

Mule deer at the check station have numbered 47 (41 bucks, five does and one fawn). The 10-year average is 87 animals.

White-tailed deer numbers this year in Augusta stand at 82 (25 bucks, 43 does and 14 fawn), while the 10-year average is 77.

The big game general season ends Nov. 25.