Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources fw.ky.gov KDFWR Encourages Doe Harvest During Upcoming Blackpowder Deer Season Press Release Contact: Norm Minch December 2, 2004 (800) 858-1549 Frankfort, KY, (December 2, 2004) - Kentucky modern gun deer hunters reported harvesting just over 89,000 whitetails after the close of the 16-day season in Zone 1 and 2 counties Sunday, November 28. But biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) are looking ahead to the newly-extended December muzzle-loading season for even more good things. "Zone 1 and 2 counties are the most densely populated with deer in the Commonwealth," said KDFWR Big Game Program Coordinator Jonathan Day. "But, the late muzzle-loading season may be most important in Zone 4 counties where this is the only time during the deer season that antlerless deer can be harvested with a firearm," Day continued. "Even though we are managing herds in Zone 4 counties for growth, it is important to develop the herd size with a controlled approach. "Hunting is the control method we use, and we gradually increase the opportunity to take antlerless deer to avoid an explosion in the population, but at the same time, allows hunters to benefit from the increase in numbers," Day explained. "We work for a balance between measured herd growth and providing more opportunity, and the system has worked pretty well, said Day. "We know there is still excellent opportunity for deer hunters available, and we encourage our sportsmen and women to take advantage of that, and help us manage the herds with additional doe harvest during this season," Day said. The mid-December muzzle-loading season is open Dec 11-19 statewide for either sex deer. It gives hunters two full weekends, which is a great plus for those who aren't able to get time off from work during the week. "We'd really like to see our total season harvest kick up to around 125,000 animals, and a hard push on the antlerless segment of the herd as the season winds down," said Day. "Taking antlerless deer is what assists in herd control, and that's what we'd like for our hunters to focus on after they take a buck, or while waiting for one to show up," the biologist concluded. The statewide archery deer season runs through January 17th, 2005. Next year's season dates will be approved by the KDFWR Commission on December 3. -30- The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. KDFWR, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, has an economic impact to the state of $4.8 billion annually. For more information on KDFWR, visit our web site at fw.ky.gov.