Hunters killed a record number of deer during Kentucky’s modern gun season, which ended Nov. 26.
“The 92,737 deer reported taken is a record, surpassing the previous record of 87,205 set in 2004,” said Tina Brunjes, deer and elk program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “That’s what happens when you get good hunting weather all three weekends of the season. No rain, no snow. It’s the first time that’s happened since I came here in 2005.”
“In some areas, our deer herd could sustain a larger doe harvest than what our hunters take each year,” Brunjes said. “For example, in Zone 1 counties, we encourage hunters to continue to take antlerless deer during the rest of bow season, the late muzzleloader season and the free youth weekend.”
Monthly totals have set records in two of the three months since deer season opened Sept. 1 with the beginning of archery hunting. Hunters telechecked 5,577 deer in September. For the first time, the September deer total exceeded 5,000 and set a record for the third consecutive year.
In October, the deer total was the highest total since the 2009-10 season, but 4,435 deer short of the record of 19,900 for the month, set during the 2001-02 season.
The total for November wasn’t available until numbers were examined after Nov. 30. However, as of Nov. 28, a record had been reached. The 96,986 deer reported taken tops the previous record (89,498 deer taken in 2004) by 8.3 percent.
At this point in the season the top 10 Kentucky counties are: Owen, 3,444; Pendleton, 2,764; Crittenden, 2,750; Graves, 2,674; Christian, 2,450; Shelby, 2,252; Grant, 2,075; Hardin, 1,946; Boone, 1,915, and Breckinridge, 1,901.
Kentucky’s all-time record deer kill total of 124,752, may be eclipsed, too.
“We have a really good chance if we get good weather for the late muzzleloader and free youth hunts (in December),” Brunjes said. Last season, the combined total for December and January was 15,617 deer.
As of Nov. 28, the season total was 117,951, according to deer harvest results posted on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov.
— Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department