The hunting season on the Rocky Mountain Front came out pretty normal, except for mule deer.
The numbers were collected at Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ check station in Augusta, says Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist.
“The elk harvest ended at two percent above the 10-year average,” Lonner says. “And the white-tailed deer harvest was 17 percent above the 10-year average.”
But, the mule deer numbers came in at 28 percent below the 10-year average.
Lonner said that was puzzling because he saw good numbers of mule deer in his spring surveys: “I’m assuming it’s at least in part weather related as well as difficulty gaining access to areas that have good numbers of deer.”
While 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, they often mirror conditions elsewhere in north central Montana.
Elk hunters brought in 274 animals (144 bulls, 100 cows and 30 calves) compared to the 10-year average of 269 elk.
Mule deer at the check station numbered 268 (220 bucks, 43 does and five fawns). The 10-year average is 375 animals.
With whitetails, this year’s count in Augusta was 342 (211 bucks, 117 does and 14 fawns), while the 10-year average is 283.
Hunter numbers were up slightly at 3,808, which is 12 percent above the 10-year average.
No wolves were brought to the Augusta check station.