Is Hunter Participation Down?


10 pointer
I started a similar thread back after early ML season.

I heard about half the shooting I would have expected on the Rifle Opener this past Saturday. What's up with that? This was a potentially a banner year. Bucks were all rutted up and chasing doe all day long. However, I heard fewer shots than at any time since I moved out to Bracken County in 2001.

My processor took in a fraction of the deer they used to do. Normally we try to buzz into town with our Opening Day volume is so big, we run the risk of the processor shutting down. We took a buck in on Saturday noon, and there were only 13 brought in so far.

I just cannot believe there were THAT many people who didn't get shots on the Opener. I am supposing there are fewer hunters out hunting.

I checked the Telecheck numbers before coming on here. I'd say we are well off the mark in Bracken County and for the state as a whole. I'd like to hear what you think.


6 pointer
Mar 4, 2011
I know that there has been a decline for several years.the road I hunt on used to be full of hunters,but very few now.after talking to some, they lost their place to hunt.i know around clark co. you can forget finding someplace to one will let you.its sad, its time to teach my son but all we got is public land and you take your life in your hands hunting there.look at trapping its all but gone because no one wants you on their land...


Nov 12, 2012
I personally think it's the bumper acorn crop. The deer are not moving much during daylight hours for me on the land I have to hunt. Grant it I don't have many hardwoods to hunt but I also think we're experiencing a trickle rut that is mostly occurring at night. The full moon hit at the wrong time. I was entering my stand sight this morning through a field and there was one deer in it and it was in the darn shade of the moon!


May 28, 2003
In the basement
This is why we need unlimited bucks. To get Hunter participation back up.

Some guys are already doing this according to some of the past threads on this forum. Might as well let everyone participate.
The quality of bucks will go down an out of state hunters will leave. There will no leasing an more places for guys to hunt.
Sep 14, 2012
From what I've seen I think hunter participation is down some. I think the full moon and warm weather have kept some of them from hunting. But as far as the hunting goes, I've seen a bunch of deer. And to be honest, I've been lazy about getting out. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday I never got in the woods before 8am. Saw 4, 8, 7, then 12+ on Wednesday. Several things influenced that I think. First I have several HOT does in the area. Second, they haven't cut the soybeans down around my stand. I always see more deer before they cut than after.


Oct 16, 2015
I would say the newer generations are in Air Conditioning playing ipad or tablets, they arent forced to think much sadly...

As far as opening morning I counted 23 shots morning 2 midday and 12 Saturday evening hunted Sunday only 5 shots all day.

Laurel County/Clay County Area


6 pointer
Aug 28, 2012
Spencer Co
Not many shots, nothing close, I was surprised opening morning. I was drinking coffee while the kids slept and the biggest deer I have seen all season ran by at 40 yards. Shots for a bit at about 4/cigarette, but only for about 20 minutes.
But you all missed it-SUPERMOON! Seriously, it has been strange out there and the weather through the weekend is a roller coaster. It is going to tear loose somewhere, and if the guns are in the woods, shots will be fired. If it's just me out there I can't cover a lot of area, but I will try.


12 pointer
Jan 30, 2014
Henry County
Well I'm not out there because of meniscus surgery. My wife and I usually account for 2 or 3 deer. Did have one given to me and it was all I could handle to get it dressed and cut up.


8 pointer
Jul 29, 2014
Heard way fewer shots this year compared to the last 10 or so years. I was hunting the woods all day Saturday and Sunday morning, where I expected them to be. Not near as much activity in the woods compared to what I saw in ML season or what I have seen over the past several years. My dad hunted some cut bean fields and was seeing lots of deer. I moved to the field Sunday afternoon and killed a nice 11 point I had been hoping would show back up. Maybe everyone is hunting the woods to hard.


8 pointer
Sep 12, 2014
Whitley Co
I heard a ton of shots early saturday morning. Other than that its well below average. Most everyone i know either killed the week before rifle and we who didnt are seeing deer just not quality. I wouldnt blame participation so much as lack of sucess. Seems most big boys die second weekend every year.


10 pointer
Oct 30, 2008
They're all at my place fence hopping. And as of now we are at the 2nd highest kills in history of KY telecheat


12 pointer
Jul 14, 2014
My belief the reason(s) there are less Deer Hunter:

1. Lack of suitable places to hunt due to leasing, where the price is out-of-reach for most Hunters.

2. The price of having a Deer processed is also too high, and many Hunters don't want to process their harvest, or don't have the room to work on processing a Deer.

3. General lack of interest in hunting by Youngsters, as they would rather play computer games instead of hunting.

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