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Hunters Report Healthy Elk Harvest

Harvest reports submitted by hunters show little change in deer, elk and pronghorn numbers for the 2006 hunting season, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reports. The results show that hunters shot 20,257 elk in 2006, down slightly from 21,520 in 2005 and 20,925 in 2004. The overall average elk hunter success rate was 19.5 percent. The statewide elk population remains at about 125,000, and has been stable over the past six or seven years, big game manager Brad Compton recently told the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. Hunters also shot about 22,000 white-tailed deer of a population estimated at about 200,000, and about 30,000 mule deer of a population estimated at about 300,000 statewide, and they killed 1,525 pronghorn antelope in 2006. Fish and Game sold a total of 240,000 various tags to 134,000 resident and 25,000 nonresident hunters. Department officials got back 184,500 harvest reports on those tags.