JEROME, Idaho (KLIX) – Hunters who went afield in search of deer and elk in Idaho last year had more success than they had in 2016 – with one exception: mule deer harvest was down.

Hunters harvested more elk and white-tailed deer in 2017 than in 2016, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, but hunters didn’t harvest as many mule deer.

Numbers show that elk harvest in 2017 was about 17.5 percent above the 10-year average, the department says. Also, despite the dip in mule deer harvested, 2017’s overall deer harvest was still slightly above the 10-year average.

Fish and Game biologists, however, expect this year’s mule deer numbers to increase.

With a much milder winter so far, Fish and Game biologists expect the drop in mule deer harvest to be short lived as herds recover from last year’s difficult winter across Central and Southern Idaho.