Wildlife Officials Say Fewer Yearling Elk Expected

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say weather and a reduced number of yearlings could hamper elk and deer hunters this year.

A combination of hard winters, liberal hunting allowances and increased predator activity has reduced the number of antleress elk and deer permits released this year. Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson says the adult elk and deer population numbers are good, but hunters’ ability to find them will likely depend on snow and cold — which are a little less likely because of a predicted El Nino winter.

Game Bird Coordinator Rick Northrup says the grouse populations in western Montana should be close to average. But he says the colder, wetter springs that hit northeastern and southern Montana this year may have depressed chick survival.

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