Warmer temperatures on the Rocky Mountain Front in the last week brought out more hunters, who harvested more elk and white-tailed deer, according to numbers collected at the Fish, Wildlife & Parks check station in Augusta.
The blizzard conditions of opening weekend gave way to 60 degrees and sunny skies by the second weekend of the general big game season, said Brent Lonner FWP wildlife biologist.
“As a result, the total big game harvest is 26 percent above the 10-year average,” Lonner said. Mule deer numbers, however, remain below the long-term average due to fewer bucks being taken at this point of the season, which is similar to harvest levels of the last couple of years.
The numbers at the Augusta check station – FWP Region 4’s sole biological check station – apply only to a handful of hunting districts on the Rocky Mountain Front.
Elk hunters so far have brought in 84 elk (38 bulls, 37 cows and nine calves) compared to the long-term average of 59 elk.
Mule deer at the check station have numbered 27 (21 bucks and six does). The long-term average is 41 animals.
With whitetails, this year’s count in Augusta stands at 78 (34 bucks, 39 does and five fawns), while the 10-year average is 45.
The general deer and elk seasons run through Nov. 29.