Are you seeing more or less deer in Kentucky now, than you did 5 or 10 years ago?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by billproxs, Nov 24, 2010.

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  1. keith meador

    keith meador Got the Spotted Fever

    Maybe you better take BH269's advice and do a bit of research before you pop off too much. When your research is completed, could you oblige us with a link?
  2. billproxs

    billproxs 12 pointer

    Nov 1, 2009

    ZONE 4
    These west central counties have been producing record harvests in recent years, and that trend continued last year. In 2008-09 the harvest was 47,118. Last season the harvest was 47,820, an increase of 702 deer. The top producer was again the world-famous Pike County, with 8,131 deer. Public access in this area is very limited. Most of the good hunting land is leased by outfitters and private clubs.

    Pike County contains expansive stretches of hardwood-covered ridges and other fine whitetail habitat. It is located between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.
  3. keith meador

    keith meador Got the Spotted Fever

    Buckfever hunts a zone 4 county in Illinois? I knew the guy had a great place to hunt, but had no idea...really..
  4. billproxs

    billproxs 12 pointer

    Nov 1, 2009
    No, My point is Pike county has one of the highest deer populations around, and yet it is a top big buck producer every year.

    So you can have a good amount of does, and still have a good amount of bucks. It all depends on the size of your land, and available food and habitat.
  5. Jaybo1120

    Jaybo1120 Fawn

    Nov 12, 2008
    Way less where I hunt in Perry/Breathitt.. I think the EHD killed a lot more deer than people think. Of course KDFW downplayed it like it was nothing, if they make it out to be a big deal they know people wont buy deer tags. We hunt an old strip job and would see 15-20 deer every morning pre EHD. Since then we are lucky to see 3-5 deer on a good morning.

    Another big reason we are seeing less deer is because of the stinkin ELK! They are simply taking over. The strip job we hunt is already picked into the dirt and its not even Dec. You take a herd of 30 elk and they'll eat everything in site, leaving nothing for the deer. I think what few deer we have are moving deeper and deeper in the woods trying to get away from them. Sometimes i wish they would all get a disease and die!
  6. buckfever

    buckfever 12 pointer

    Oct 25, 2002
    Harrods Creek Ky, USA.
    Yeah, that's true. I've hunted in Pike County before, and that place is unbelievable if you're a deer hunter. Pike County, Ill has a few things going for it. First, incredibly fertile land. It's boundary to the west is the Miss. R. and its eastern boundary is the Illinois R. Ergo, the carrying capacity is through the roof across the entire county. Second, very few humans. Less suburban sprawl means more deer habitat. Third, if memory serves, Pike County was one of the largest Illinois counties (might be the biggest???), so that would coincide with a higher harvest level.

    I've read that Pike county is having some problems more recently, however, because there are so many outfitters operating in the fabled county, people are shooting too many bucks and not enough does. The buck to doe ratio is getting out of whack, and the big bucks Pike County is known for producing are becoming
    more scarce.

    I'll donate most, keep a couple and give away the rest. For the past 10-12 years, we've taken about 25 does and a few bucks off the property each year. So far this year, we've killed 3 bucks and 21 does.

    We've got plenty of deer on the property, but neighbors don't always do their part, so some of their does will migrate over to our farm.

    I'm thinking that about 27-30 is probably about the right number of does to shoot. I'd like to whack about 40 does one year just to see what happens. If it's too many, I'll scale it back. I think our buck to doe ratio is close to 1 to 1. We see great buck action throughout the rut. I can't recall a hunt in the past month where I didn't see at least one or two bucks that didn't exceed 110".
  7. predator

    predator 12 pointer

    Nov 23, 2006
    Leitchfield, Ky.
    bf-you need to get out more!!

    Keep rubbing it in!!!

    But seriously, I'm seeing about the same number of deer that I saw 5 years ago and way less than 10 years ago. I've have a fair season, in Nov, I've hunted 10 times averaging 4 hours per hunt and have saw a total of 10 deer, 5 of those on the same morning, so half my hunts resulted in no deer sightings. Since I bow hunt, I hunt thicker areas therefore I will see less deer than someone who hunts more open areas. I hunt 800 acres in Breck Co. and own 150 in Grayson, both areas had an exceptional mast crop, which I think restricted movement and both areas recieve a tremendous amount of hunting pressure. I did however pass a solid 130" 8 pt the week before gun season that I hope makes it another year. Spread was only 14"
  8. Bigspringhunter07

    Bigspringhunter07 8 pointer

    Dec 12, 2007
    Breckinridge co.
    In breck co. where i hunt i'm seeing less deer than 5 yrs ago. As others have stated and i do have to agree that EHD has played a big part in the herd decline . I've seen yearling bucks but no mature bucks .
  9. littleindian

    littleindian BBBC Members

    Sep 16, 2003
    I hunt zone 4 Russell Co. I have seen less deer and get fewer pictures on my cams than I did 5 ys ago. I feel poaching, excessive doe kills when we were in zone 3, and EHD are to blame.
  10. 25-06

    25-06 8 pointer

    Apr 1, 2006
    Yeah,I would have to agree....They have really increased in numbers and quality as well. I looked hard and covered every waterhole I knew about a couple years ago on mine and the surrounding property when the EHD hit and I did not find a single deer dead. Maybe we just got lucky.
  11. Feedman

    Feedman Cyber-Hunter

    May 28, 2003
    In the basement
    I am seeing the same if not more where I hunt. If you wait until late Dec. or Jan. and check your food plots. See what your population is then. I think that coyotes are taking a lot of fawns. EHD hit some area's really hard.

    I think this is an excellent time to try and get your buck to doe ratio down. Some area's had too many does. Now you can take some does and let the bucks walk. In a couple of years you will have a more healthy herd.
  12. buckfever

    buckfever 12 pointer

    Oct 25, 2002
    Harrods Creek Ky, USA.

    Thanks for taking care of my backside. Much appreciated.

    To be honest, our farm hasn't produced any "monsters" (Booners), but we're able to grow and harvest a few "good" bucks (P&Y qualifiers). However, ten years ago we'd be lucky to see 3 P&Y sized bucks in an entire season. We'd see tons of does/fawns and a smattering of scrub yearlings.

    At first, we really only did 2 things: (a) started passing on 2 yr old bucks (which in large part consisted of simply running the trespassers off who'd kill every buck); and (b) aggressively harvested does. We quicky saw improvements in the quality of deer we were seeing and increased rutting activity. Once we got about 10% of the farm in food plots and converted our fescue fields into native grasses/habitat, we saw our carrying capacity spike a bit which has required more intensive doe harvesting.

    Currently, our farm has a large carrying capacity, but we still have too many deer. I've seen an enormous inverse correlation between the number of total deer and the size of the bucks.

    In the 13 years since we've owned the place, I've only seen or gotten pictures of maybe 4 bucks that I thought would gross over 160". We've know of 2 bucks this season that I'd call "monsters". I just think those older bucks tend to be loners and don't want to be around tons of other deer if they can avoid it.

    I guess my philosophy on growing really big bucks is give 'em some room (i.e. reduce your herd), give 'em some food and cover, and most importantly, let 'em age.

    Bill, explain your theory on why some areas grow big bucks. I don't quite understand why your LOL'ing so much about anything I've posted in this thread???? Have you ever managed any land? After reading back through what I posted and your comments, I'm pretty sure that what I've posted is pretty much spot on to what you've probably read in a deer magazine or saw on a hunting show. I'm just not sure what you think is so controversial. Please explain and if I'm missing something, feel free to LOL your brains out.
  13. lexfd

    lexfd 6 pointer

    Aug 27, 2008
    At peace in a tree
    Do you all think the state might make more changes this yr? What do you think we can do to push for some changes in areas?? If anything. My areas need help, we have cover,good food plots,and all round good deer habitat. But so few deer now. We do have a major problem with coyotes and I try to dent them. Don't know about telecheck system? And poaching? The last 2 could be more of a problem than I think.
  14. buzzbaiter83

    buzzbaiter83 10 pointer

    Been seeing a LOT less does. But I have seen an increase of small, young bucks.
  15. kyarcher

    kyarcher Cyber-Hunter

    Dec 12, 2001
    Garrard County, Ky
    I had a gold mine until the Amish tribe moved into the area about 7-8 years ago.
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