KALISPELL, Mont. -

Fish, Wildlife and Parks says big game numbers are on the rise. A spring aerial and ground survey of Region 1 shows that white-tail fawns, mule deer and elk populations saw an improvement in recruitment after this past winter.

The survey recorded the highest number of fawns seen in the last five years, an average of 40 fawns to every 100 adults. Better numbers mean more chances for hunters to snag big game this fall.

"I think most hunters will see the bump this fall in the woods. And we're encouraged by that," said FWP Wildlife Manager Jim Williams, "We're excited. Hopefully we have a couple more years like this and our populations will begin to rebound. This is the first year of hopefully a couple more like this."

Officials say recruitment and population can be affected by predation as well as the quality and condition of the winter season.