Fewer hunters took slightly more elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer this year compared to last year along a portion of the Rocky Mountain Front during the opening weekend of this year’s general big game season.
The numbers were collected at Fish, Wildlife and Parks check station in Augusta.
“Opening weekend varies every year,” says Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist “some years more game is taken than other years. All in all it went pretty good.”
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 this year brought in 35 animals (10 bulls, 23 cows and two calves) compared to last year when 12 elk (six bulls and six cows) were checked and 28 elk in 2010—23 bulls and five cows.
Mule deer numbers this year at the check station came to 16 animals (12 bucks and four does), where last year hunters brought in 11 mulies (seven bucks and four does), and 21 mule deer in 2010: seven bucks, 10 does and four fawns.
With whitetails, this year’s count in Augusta was 18 (12 bucks and 6 does) while last year hunters checked in 15 (seven bucks, seven does and one fawn), and in 2010 hunters checked in nine animals: five bucks, two does and two fawns.
Hunter participation was down this year: 146 hunters stopped at the Augusta check station while heading afield. Last year 196 hunters stopped by and in 2010 there were 221 hunters checking in.
The general deer and elk season runs through Nov. 25.