The number of elk in the most recent aerial Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks survey is encouraging.

Mike Thompson of FWP said the count was over 7,300 elk in five hunting districts in and around the Bitterroot Valley, the fourth highest number in survey history.

He also was happy to see an average of 25 calves per 100 cows, which is the highest since 2008.

Elk numbers had been falling. FWP has recently been restricting elk hunting and increasing predator hunting - wolves, bears and mountain lions.