By BRUCE AUCHLY
Hunters on a portion of the Rocky Mountain Front this fall took home more elk than any year in the past 20.
Also, the white-tailed deer harvest on the Front was slightly above average, while mule deer numbers were down a bit during the general big game season, which ended Nov. 29.
The numbers were collected at the Augusta check station – Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 4’s sole biological check station – and apply only to a handful of hunting districts on the Rocky Mountain Front.
“Total elk harvest was about 32 percent above the 10-year average and the highest in 20 years,” said Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist. “White-tailed deer was about 5 percent above average, but mule deer buck harvest was approximately 14 percent below the 10-year average.”
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 476 animals (138 bulls, 273 cows and 65 calves) compared to the 10-year average of 323 elk.
Mule deer numbered 249 bucks at the check station. The 10-year average is 289 bucks.
With whitetails, the count in Augusta was 302 (188 bucks, 81 does and 33 fawns), while the 10-year average is 286.
“This year went real smooth at the Augusta check station,” Lonner said, “mostly because of the four seasonal workers there: Houston Thompson, Russ Christianson, Phil King and Alan ‘Chico’ Kinkaid. Their attention to detail, good communication skills and help with hunters was appreciated.”