Snow and cold temperatures on the Rocky Mountain Front are helping fewer than average numbers of hunters bring in near-average numbers of elk to the Fish, Wildlife and Parks check station in Augusta.
“Approximately 70 percent of the total elk harvest thus far has come from elk near the Sun River Wildlife Management Area,” said Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist, “the other 30 percent is coming from areas primarily south of Augusta.”
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.
For deer, mule deer numbers are down but are expected to increase as the season progresses, while the white-tailed deer harvest is up mostly because of hunters using antlerless B licenses, Lonner said.
Elk hunters so far have brought in 57 elk (30 bulls, 23 cows and four calves) compared to the long-term average of 61 elk.
Mule deer at the check station have numbered 28 (25 bucks and three does). The long-term average is 43 animals.
With whitetails, this year’s count in Augusta stands at 48 (12 bucks, 30 does and six fawns), while the 10-year average is 44.
The general deer and elk season runs through Dec. 1.