Hunter numbers and elk harvest totals are down from last year through the Darby Fish, Wildlife and Parks Check Station, but deer harvest numbers are a few percentage points different.

For all of West Central Montana, (the Darby, Anaconda and Bonner check stations), white-tailed deer are 12 percent higher than last year, mule deer totals are up three percent.

The elk harvest areawide is down about 80 animals from last year (2011-412, 2012-332). Anaconda had unseasonal conditions last week and the harvest dropped to 44, compared to 70 last year. Restrictive hunting reduced the elk numbers in the Bitterroot with 220 this year, 32 less than last year at this time.

Hunter success through the Darby check station, due to the good deer numbers, was up to 8.7 percent this year, according to Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson, who said that was the best ratio since 2005.

The wolf harvest added one animal to the 20 wolf total so far this hunting season.

The check station numbers are a good sampling of the hunting season, but do not represent the complete number of animals taken, officials cautioned.

General hunting season ends this Sunday, November 25th.