JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — There are nearly three times more elk wandering the National Elk Refuge in northwest Wyoming than normal in mid-December.

Elk hunting on the preserve ends Sunday, and refuge biologist Eric Cole says it's likely elk numbers will rise steadily in the following week. Cole tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide that weather and snow conditions typically dictate how long the Jackson Elk Herd takes to arrive.

Through Thursday morning, about 200 elk have been harvested. Ordinarily the voluntary reports keep coming for several weeks after the hunt closes. Cole says the harvest is relatively high compared with previous years, but he says the numbers are preliminary.