Hunters overall having less success than last year

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A cow elk rests in the snow in Glacier National Park, where hunting is illegal.

Hunting season continued its slower than normal pace in week three, with 6,748 hunters reporting a total of 328 whitetail deer at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks check stations for the season to date.

Hunter success is about 5.8 percent compared to 7.1 percent last year.

The whitetail take included 171 bucks, as well as 39 mule deer and 33 elk.

“Hunters are reporting that they are seeing a lot of does but the bucks have been more elusive. Hopefully the arrival of colder weather will increase activity among the deer and elk and lead to increased success for hunters,” Neil Anderson, FWP Region 1 wildlife manager said.

One problem is warm and wet weather — there’s no tracking snow except for higher terrain.

On the Rocky Mountain Front, elk harvest is 41 percent below the 10-year average, and mule deer numbers are 54 percent below the 10-year average.

White-tailed deer harvest, however, is up slightly over the long-term average on the front.

Elk hunters this season have brought in 68 animals (33 bulls, 32 cows and 3 calves) compared to the 10-year average of 115 elk at the Augusta check station.

Mule deer at the check station have numbered 47 (41 bucks, five does and one fawn). The 10-year average is 87 animals.

White-tailed deer numbers this year in Augusta stand at 82 (25 bucks, 43 does and 14 fawn), while the 10-year average is 77.

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