2015-16 Fort Knox question and answer thread

PYseeker

6 pointer
May 19, 2015
124
The overall deer numbers and quality on Fort Knox are being closely and effectively managed. Look back at the last few years harvest photos and that will tell the tale. Additionally, if you want quantifiable evidence just check the Hunt Control links. The quality in terms of age class has improved greatly and the harvest numbers (early gun or not) have stayed within 10% of the average over the past 5 years.

http://www.knox.army.mil/Garrison/dpw/emd/huntctrl/docs/deer_harvest_summary.pdf
http://www.knox.army.mil/Garrison/dpw/emd/huntctrl/docs/quality_deer_mgmt.pdf

This season has been difficult because of a very poor mast crop and very warm temps. The deer are not in normal fall feeding patterns and the rut was delayed and somewhat stagnant with the heat. Just read back through this thread and the anecdotal evidence is there. People who go out and sit in the same oak tree they hunted for the past 20 years and don't see anything can't blame anything but their flawed strategy.

I will agree with the comments on coyotes; the sightings and encounters do seem to be up a fair amount across post. I'm sure HC has taken notice and will adjust seasons or provide incentive to kill them if it is needed. What everyone needs to keep in mind that is that ' quality management' takes years and the endstate is a decade in the future. Not a knee jerk reaction because a few people couldn't saunter back to 'their' spot and whack a booner.

Couldn't agree more with your comments. Knox is doing a good job at meeting its management objectives.
 

Jde

6 pointer
Oct 9, 2013
123
You all say deer movement is poor due to no mast crop but when we have a good mast crop everyone wants to say deer movement isn't good because they don't have to move to get food. I will agree bigger and older deer are coming off Knox but the poor mast crop should be making deer move more to look for food. As far as rut being delayed that's not true. Ask any deer biologist doe fawn almost same time every year. They will start rutting around Halloween I don't care what the temp is.


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Aug 18, 2012
89
You all say deer movement is poor due to no mast crop but when we have a good mast crop everyone wants to say deer movement isn't good because they don't have to move to get food. I will agree bigger and older deer are coming off Knox but the poor mast crop should be making deer move more to look for food. As far as rut being delayed that's not true. Ask any deer biologist doe fawn almost same time every year. They will start rutting around Halloween I don't care what the temp is.


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Jde--- I didn't say that movement was poor I just said they aren't moving in the big woods near acorn trees. They are moving but it is sporadic and they are hitting other lesser utilized food sources that are harder to pinpoint and therefore harder to hunt. Last year when we had a bumper acorn crop it was harder to key in on exactly where they were feeding but deer have preferences just like people. Find what they like and find them.

As for the rut-- Maybe the heat didn't delay mating and does in estrous but it certainly pushed it into the period of darkness when there were cooler temps so hunters weren't seeing deer chasing/cruising the way they normally do. The numbers don't lie-- as soon as the weather cooled off, the rutting activity during daylight hours increased dramatically and so did harvest numbers. The Knox early gun season was a perfect example of this. Halloween through the first week the numbers were meager, then the cold front and high pressure pushed in and daylight activity increased.
 

Teach Deer

8 pointer
Aug 4, 2013
609
Georgetown
Fort Knox is my favorite hunt of the year...has been for a while now.

This year I hunted Area 33 (Nov 21 / 22)...I left with both tags... Still it is the experience not the kill that makes a good hunt... We had great guides that done their best to put all of us on deer... We did have one nice buck killed in the area (an 8 pt that was pretty wide)...

There was not much sign in the Area...I found only two smallish scrapes and some really pathetic little rubs... I did see a big bodied deer escaping me through a thicket but did not have time to identify what it was (either the largest doe on KNOX or a buck)...

For next weekend's hunters...expect little to no acorns and deer movement patterns will not be in the oaks (why would they be ???)... Good luck on figuring out food sources, I could not find anything substantial that they could have been eating (aside from browse in the thickets)...which is why I still have my tags...

It was still a fantastic hunt and I cherish the memories of it...and there is always next year to hope to put a tag on a big booner (and some more good guides to help haul it out of the woods)...
 

Bigspringhunter07

8 pointer
Dec 12, 2007
756
Breckinridge co.
I have to chime in on this , Area 1 for instance had 26 hunters on the list for this past weekend , only 16 showed up as i'm sure other areas experienced the same . there was not enough hunters to move the deer per area ..
 

Scoony

6 pointer
Nov 7, 2003
444
Radcliff
I think I may have been the only one to shoot a buck on Saturday in 34. I was back in 34A and was seeing lots of sign. 3 different scrap lines and lots of rubs, both big and small. I got him at first light coming through the thickets adjacent to one of the scrap lines. That was the only deer I saw on Saturday. Sunday, there were deer down in a valley below us making a racket. We shifted to a spot where we should have been able to see them and saw a doe walking away up the far slope, too far to shoot. Jumped a deer later, but unable to see what it was. I think there were 3 bucks and a doe shot Sunday.

Did not see anyone one in the back area of 30A, but it looks like a great area back in there. Saw some wood ducks which was a nice surprise. They are some crazy sounding ducks. We were in our stands listening to them wondering what the heck was making that sound. Seing them a bit latter made me realize what we we hearing.
 

PYseeker

6 pointer
May 19, 2015
124
Alot of areas had low turn outs this past weekend. Not sure why that is but it did hurt hunters. Deer were less apt to move around with less hunters getting up and moving the deer around. This weekend is likely to be even less of a turn out with the terrible weather coming in on friday.
 

skippy

Spike
Sep 11, 2007
54
Kentucky
Had a good hunt in area 114. Didn't kill a deer but the company and guides were fantastic. Saw a few spikes and a couple does. Overall not disappointed at all. Good luck to everyone on the upcoming weekend hunt.
 

Madco

Spike
Dec 6, 2010
81
Richmond, KY
So looking at this weekends extended forecast... It looks like a washout. In my experience deer don't move very good in rain. Any discussion??? I am in area 73???
 
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PYseeker

6 pointer
May 19, 2015
124
So looking at this weekends extended forecast... It looks like a washout. In my experience deer don't move very good in rain. Any discussion??? I am in area 73???

I'm 100% positive deer dont move in my living room, so I will put on the wet weather gear and give it a go. Deer will move in rain if the winds are not blowing to bad. If its a straight down pour maybe not but a light rain wont stop a buck from chasing does.
 


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