Fish and Game officials excited about deer and elk populations this season

Published: Aug. 27, 2015 at 3:35 PM MDT
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The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is saying this year's deer and elk season could be one of the best the Gem State has ever seen.

Thanks to four consecutive mild winters, deer and elk populations are at an all–time high.

Last year, hunters had the largest deer harvest in 23 years, and the largest elk harvest since 2005.

Hunters killed over 61,000 deer in 2014, that’s up over 12,000 from 2013.

Out of almost 160,000 tags sold, the state saw a 40% success rate for deer.

2014 was a good year for elk as well.

Hunters took roughly 20,000 elk in 2014, up 20% with an overall success rate of about 24%.

"For the last two years we've had record number of fawns surviving the winter and also very high adult survival also. With the milder temperatures we've had and the late spring and summer rains we've had incredible forage conditions. The animals we're seeing are coming into winter and fall in excellent condition," said Regional Wildlife Manager, Daryl Meints.

Fish and Game officials say mule deer populations are up, but thanks to current drought conditions they might not be as widely dispersed.

Most will congregate around water in higher elevations.

Both deer and elk season in Idaho officially runs from August to February of 2016.