Results from the three popular late season elk hunts in southwestern Montana at Gardiner, in the Gallatin drainage and on the Flying D Ranch (Hunting District 314) indicate that harvests are slower than normal to date.
According to Kurt Alt, regional wildlife biologist for Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Bozeman, through the first full weekend of these special population management seasons, harvests reflect the warmer weather present in the hunting units north of Yellowstone National Park and the subsequent lack of elk available to hunters with permits during the first four days of the annual late hunt.
In the Gallatin hunting area, he said, a total of 98 hunters harvested 34 elk. In the Flying "D" unit, 198 hunters took 55 elk, and in the Gardiner hunting unit, where most of the late season harvest traditionally takes place, 286 hunters took 149 elk. All harvests are less than average.
Alt said desired harvest levels of elk that wildlife managers hope to be taken from these units could improve if more favorable weather conditions appear.