The general hunting season harvest in west central Montana's Region 2 - with check stations at Darby, Anaconda and Bonner - reported more deer coming through the stations, but less elk.

Mike Thompson, Fish Wildlife and Parks Region 2 Wildlife Manager said that mild weather "is taking its toll" on overall success. Snowfall and colder temperatures are expected this week, which could make the big game move into the winter ranges.

Thompson, in a news release Monday, said the Darby check station in the Bitterroot recorded the same total number of animals in the first two weeks of hunting season as last year, but the makeup of the numbers was different. There was a 16 percent drop in elk numbers and a 10 percent uptick in white-tail deer, compared to the 5-year average.

At Darby: 2,828 hunters - last year's number was 2,909

  • Elk - 163 this year. 195 in 2011
  • Mule Deer - 38 this year. 27 in 2011
  • White-tailed Deer - 60 this year. 39 in 2011
  • 3 black bear, one moose, and one sheep.
  • No wolves were checked through the Darby station, though in its third year statewide, the wolf hunting season has brought in 45 wolves so far.