Recent colder temperatures and snow have slightly improved hunter harvest of mule deer and elk on a portion of the Rocky Mountain Front, says a Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist.
“Mule deer and elk harvest continues to be well below recent normal, but both have improved over the first part of the season,” said Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist.
Mule deer and elk harvest are 34 percent and 30 percent below the 10-year average, respectively, Lonner said.
“However, the Sun River elk harvest is picking up with the change in weather,” Lonner said.
That change has been reflected in the quotas for hunting districts 442 and 424 on the Front.
The HD 442 quota of 100 antlerless or brow-tined bull elk is nearly half filled, and the quota of 10 such elk for HD 424 has just two left. When either quota is met, the season in that district switches to brow-tined bulls only until the Nov. 25 end of the general rifle season.
Meanwhile, white-tailed deer harvest continues to remain above the 10-year average at 6 percent. Antlerless harvest is the reason for the increased success, Lonner said.
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 126 animals (54 bulls, 68 cows and four calves) compared to the 10-year average of 171 elk.
Mule deer at the check station have numbered 90 animals (81 bucks, seven does and two fawns). The 10-year average is 136 animals.
White-tailed deer totals stand at 140 (59 bucks, 62 does and 19 fawns), while the 10-year average is 131.
(via MT FWP)