We had a great season opener this 2014. For our guided hunters, we harvested two bulls and one cow on our private ranch hunt, and two bulls and one cow on the National Forest. For our unguided hunters, we ended up with four cows and one bull. My dad also harvested a nice bull this week. Total elk for the week: six bulls and six cows. Many hunters didn’t see much for elk after the first two days of the season, and I too think the wind had an effect – and, as a rule, if there is not much for weather, the elk will timber up after opening day.
We did get two mule deer bucks by our unguided hunters, plus three mule deer on the private ranch hunts. I guided a few days for mule deer with the clients, and it does seem like the numbers are lower this year. As we get more into the season and into the rut, we will have a better idea of the population here.
Our local wildlife biologist reported on the game conditions from the check-point in town, describing the body conditions of all the game as very good. This was not a surprise to him, given the productive vegetation year we experienced across the area this summer and fall. This is a good first step for elk and deer survival, he says, through the upcoming winter. He noted the two year old elk (both cows and bulls) were in tremendous condition – good body size and very healthy fat deposits.