As well as being good news for hunters, this will no doubt add fuel to the debate about wolf population impact on big game . . .
Big game wildlife populations appear to be bouncing back in Northwest Montana after a few rough years, according to state Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ spring surveys.
The percentage of white-tail fawns that survived winter is the highest since 2006 in Region 1, according to FWP Wildlife Manager Jim Williams. Williams said the survey found an average of 44 fawns for every 100 adults. Last year, that number was 30/100. In 2009, it had dropped to 24/100. Mule deer and elk populations also gained ground in almost all areas, Williams said.
The latest population estimates are welcome news for hunters and FWP. Last fall, nearly every region in the state saw significant declines in both animals harvested and hunters in the field, supporting a widespread perception that big game populations, specifically deer, are on the decline.