Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks staff have released their annual big-game hunting outlook. Here some key points in the data.

In Northwestern Montana

-Elk numbers are stable. Spring data indicates good numbers with calf winter survival rates slightly below average, though higher than 2008 and 2009. Backcountry areas are still stable, as they have been since 2008. The lower Clark Fork area remains the region’s best elk producer.

-White-tailed deer numbers are recovering from 2009’s population low. Mule deer populations are still low, but the Fisher River area remains one of the state’s better mule deer regions.

In Western Montana:

-Elk numbers are for the most part above average, though calf survival and production is low in several areas.

- White-tailed deer and mule deer are “common,” though populations are below average.

In Southwestern Montana:

-Elk populations are slightly increasing, and weather will play a big role in hunter success.

-White-tailed deer numbers are stable, and mule deer numbers run from stable to slightly decreasing.

For more information on FWP’s hunting outlooks, click here.

Deer and Elk general hunting season kicks off October 26.