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In: Shadow of the Rockies

Fewer hunters passing through the check station along with lower numbers of game harvested continues to be the theme for this year’s general rifle season in the Augusta area of FWP Region 4. To date the total deer and elk harvest is 33% below the recent average and is the lowest number of big game animals checked since at least 1994.

A total of 301 big game animals have been checked so far this season, most of which are deer and elk, although 10 antelope, one mountain goat, two bighorn sheep and one mountain lion have been checked.

Warm and windy weather with a lack of snow cover appears to be keeping some hunters at home, as the total number of successful and unsuccessful hunters checked currently is 22% below average. Those who are going afield are seeing some success however, and actual hunter success (total deer & elk checked compared to total number of hunters checked) is currently at just 3% below average.

So far this season, deer (mule and white-tail) harvest continues to dominate the harvest tally, amounting to approximately two-thirds of the total big game checked. However, mule and white-tail harvest still remain below recent average at 16% and 28%, respectively. Deer harvest continues to be generally well distributed throughout the greater Augusta area. Hunters report that rutting activity among deer has noticeably increased and should be peaking in the next ten days, which will make bucks less wary and more visible to hunters.

Elk harvest is currently lagging the farthest behind at nearly half of recent average. For elk, minimal harvest continues to occur on the ‘Sun River’ herd given the mild weather and lack of movement of these elk towards winter range. They remain largely in backcountry areas making access to them more difficult. The HD 442 elk quota remains open to antlerless elk harvest, however, the HD 424 quota has been met and only brow-tined bull hunting will remain valid within HD 424 until the end of the general rifle hunting season. When the HD 442 quota is met for antlerless elk, the season in that HD will also remain open to brow-tined bull harvest until the end of the general rifle hunting season.

Another week with little or no moisture means that fire conditions are still extremely high, especially along the Rocky Mountain Front. Hunters and other recreationists should be extra cautious and follow all fire restrictions, and check for the most up-to-date information at  www.mtfireinfo.org before leaving home. 

The general deer and elk seasons runs through Nov. 28. The check station operated by FWP along Main Street in Augusta is the only biological check station in Region 4 and operates seven days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends. Hunters are reminded that they must stop at any check station they pass while hunting, whether or not they have harvested game. Biological check stations are intended primarily for biologists to gather statistical information and trends about animals and hunters.

2021 Augusta Check Station Harvest – through 4th Sunday of the general rifle season
Elk
Mule Deer
White-tailed Deer
Antlered
Antlerless
Total
Antlered
Antlerless
Total
Antlered
Antlerless
Total
Grand Total
No. of Hunters
Hunter Success
2011
79
51
130
76
31
107
76
62
138
375
1913
19.6%
2012
72
173
245
94
19
113
74
63
137
495
2179
22.7%
2013
73
125
198
148
18
166
70
40
110
474
2471
19.2%
2014
86
95
181
109
0
109
88
50
138
428
2096
20.4%
2015
80
122
202
120
0
120
85
54
139
461
2261
20.4%
2016
74
54
128
114
7
121
94
45
139
388
1912
20.3%
2017
131
94
225
125
11
136
92
59
151
512
2078
21.0%
2018
54
72
126
81
9
90
59
81
140
356
1787
19.9%
2019
64
84
148
89
10
99
68
90
158
405
1817
22.3%
2020
64
87
151
77
12
89
73
114
187
427
1652
25.8%
10-yr. avg.
77.7
95.7
173.4
103.3
11.7
115
77.9
65.8
143.7
432.1
2016.6
21.1%
2021
54
33
87
90
7
97
53
51
104
288
1590
18.1%

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