In an effort to monitor the elk population, the fish and game department conducts aerial surveys. This year it's supposed to be done in the Elk City zone, however the lack of snow and visibility don't allow animals to be counted accurately.
Regional Wildlife Biologist Dave Koehler said they're looking at other options, one being a composition survey where biologists go in on foot.
"We get a count in a smaller area and the ratio calves per hundred cows, bulls per hundred cows, and adult bulls per one hundred cows," said Koehler. "It does not give us a population estimate for the entire unit or zone like we would get with a regular full scale survey."
Aerial surveys are the most effective tool the department uses to help determine population. Those numbers help leaders make seasonal adjustments for big game.