Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are currently conducting their spring surveys using airplanes to look for elk in the morning and deer in the evening. According to FWP Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson, Biologists try to go out every day if the weather allows them to do so.

“Over the winter they come up with fawn adult ratios and it is a little bit checkered in terms of results,” said Thompson. “Generally elk came through the winter in great shape and deer for that matter surprisingly.”

Thompson says severe winter weather can significantly impact wildlife, but a slow spring came just soon enough to help animals get through it.

“I was thinking boy this is not looking good, especially in January and early February when we were way down in the zero and below zero range and the snow was crusting, but boy they cam through pretty well,” Thompson said. “It makes you think that they went into the winter with good fat reserves.”

According to Thompson, this winter wasn’t extreme and most animals were adapted to deal with the cold conditions.