Nov deer harvest second-highest ever

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Old Oak, Nov 26, 2008.

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  1. Old Oak

    Old Oak 6 pointer

    Oct 8, 2004
    back in KY!
    Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources News

    Kentucky Afield Outdoors:

    November deer harvest second-highest ever

    November 26, 2008 Contact: Hayley Lynch

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1-800-858-1549, ext. 4493

    Frankfort, Ky. – Kentucky’s modern gun deer season is now over statewide, tipping the total harvest past 108,000 deer. Even with several days of archery and crossbow hunting left this month, the November harvest of more than 88,000 deer has already topped every season but 2004.

    “I thought we might kill 115,000 to 116,000 deer this season, but I think we’re going to do better than that,” said David Yancy, a wildlife biologist in the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ big game program. “If it’s a pretty typical December muzzleloader season, that’ll help us toward 120,000.”

    The high harvest eases the minds of the state’s deer managers, who closely watched last year’s severe outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). Kentucky Fish and Wildlife received reports of more than 4,000 suspected EHD cases last year. The state’s deer herd is estimated at 1 million animals.

    “If EHD had an impact, the November harvest should be down,” said Yancy. “But it’s not down – it’s up. That tells me that EHD didn’t have a significant impact to statewide deer numbers.”

    Overall harvest trends are a much better indicator of deer populations than single-year results, however. Kentucky’s total deer harvest has stair-stepped up and down only slightly since 2000, varying by fewer than 10,000 deer most years. “When you take a step back and look at that – that’s stable,” said Yancy.

    Hunter harvest of male and female deer has also stabilized, with hunters taking a nearly even split of bucks and does each year. About 52 percent of deer taken so far this season have been bucks.

    “We go into gun season usually slightly ahead on antlerless deer,” said Yancy. “Bowhunters are more willing to take antlerless deer – it’s a challenge just to kill a deer with a bow.”

    During modern gun deer season, however, the buck-to-doe balance tips toward antlered deer. “Gun hunters are out there buck hunting,” Yancy said. “Some already have some venison in the freezer from early muzzleloader or bow, and others say ‘I can get my antlerless deer during late muzzleloader to fill my freezer.’ It shifts back in late muzzleloader season, and we end up with slightly more females taken.”

    The 9-day late muzzleloader season typically adds another 8,000 to 10,000 deer to the overall harvest. Yancy hopes to see more deer taken in high-density counties, where doe harvest is especially important to keep the population in balance with available habitat.

    “Counties like Jefferson, Shelby, Franklin, and from there north to the Ohio River – we would definitely like to see more deer taken, especially female deer in those counties,” said Yancy. ”That’s what it’s going to take to get them down to a Zone 2 level.”

    Southeastern Kentucky’s Zone 4 counties are a different story. Deer populations are smaller than managers and hunters would like, due to the region’s mountainous, forested habitat that isn’t ideal for deer. The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission voted this year to restrict this zone’s antlerless deer harvest during late muzzleloader season to the final three days only. Hunters in Zone 4 may take only antlered deer during the season’s first six days.

    “The point of it is to reduce kill on females and young deer,” said Yancy. “We thought we were being restrictive enough, but we weren’t. We’re trying to allow some opportunity, but not too much. We’ll see in the next 2 to 3 years how this affects Zone 4 populations.”

    Late muzzleloader season for deer runs Dec. 13-21 statewide. For complete deer hunting regulations, pick up a copy of the 2008-09 Kentucky Hunting & Trapping guide, available at and wherever hunting licenses are sold
  2. retiredbowhunter

    retiredbowhunter 8 pointer

    Aug 23, 2006
    “If EHD had an impact, the November harvest should be down,” said Yancy. “But it’s not down – it’s up. That tells me that EHD didn’t have a significant impact to statewide deer numbers.”

    Glad to see some numbers that support that.
  3. The scout'n man

    The scout'n man 8 pointer

    Aug 7, 2008
    Pattyville, KY
    Well I think the economy has alot to do with the number of deer taken this year too! I still say EHD took a toll on the numbers. If we had't had that out break our numbers would have been close to 130,00 for the year! Thats just my 2 cents! I think his take on how hunters hunt the seasons is just about right, that is as far as when does and bucks are taken. I know I would enjoy shooting a doe just about as much as a buck with my bow. If I haven't connected with something to fill the freezer by late ML season I'm out their wacking the first doe that walks by!
  4. Bigspringhunter07

    Bigspringhunter07 8 pointer

    Dec 12, 2007
    Breckinridge co.
    I sure have a hard time believing the harvest was up in my area whenever myself and several others in my area have seen way less deer..or no deer in my case..
  5. beards-n-bone

    beards-n-bone 10 pointer

    Nov 12, 2008
    Pulaski Co.
    They forgot to subtract 8,000 for Julio:D
  6. Gnarly

    Gnarly 6 pointer

    Nov 12, 2008
    Crossroads to Nowhere,KY
    Nov. Deer Harvest

    Somebody famous once said,"There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damn lies & statistics."
    Gnarly says, "B.S."
  7. maxcam

    maxcam 12 pointer

    Mar 29, 2005
    I once heard that 85% of all statistics are false.......What do you think the odds of that are?:rolleyes:
  8. KYhunter79

    KYhunter79 12 pointer

    Dec 11, 2003
    Irvington, KY
    I hope that this record setting harvest doesn't really do damage to our population after the effects of EHD. I know I saw a decrease in deer sign and deer and so did ALL of my hunting buddies. I'm not a skeptic and I'm one of the blind followers that the KDFWR are going to do whats best for hunting in KY, but I have a hard time believing this.
  9. predator

    predator 12 pointer

    Nov 23, 2006
    Leitchfield, Ky.
    Both well said, but b-n-b, you forgot about all of Julio's friends!!:eek:
  10. predator

    predator 12 pointer

    Nov 23, 2006
    Leitchfield, Ky.
    Do you think maybe trying to satisfy Farm Bureau may have anything to do with these numbers??;)
  11. 1LOW8TE

    1LOW8TE 6 pointer

    Sep 9, 2005
    I don't believe this one bit. Too many people are telling me otherwise. Got to generate revenue somehow, right?
  12. Art

    Art 12 pointer

    Nov 27, 2004
    Lexington, KY
    I don't buy it either. EVERYONE i've talked to across the state is saying the same thing. The deer were few and far between this year. I know several people, including myself who have yet to get a shot at one.
  13. slickhead slayer

    slickhead slayer 12 pointer

    Nov 14, 2005
    VP OF ADMIN Development
    I am always skeptical about predicting our population by using harvest figures.
    So we killed 120,000 deer last year, and then we kill 120,000 this year. And some would suggest that means that EHD had no effect, and that the population is the same, and the harvest numbers prove that. However, I don't think it does.
    Lets say I killed a doe last year, which I did, lets say I killed a doe this year, which I did. That would mean that I harvested the EXACT same amount of deer as last year. Does that mean in my area the population is the same? I guess if you just look at harvest numbers it does. But there is a little more to the story. I only wanted to kill one doe last year, same this year. But I was seing an average of 12 deer a sitting last year, this year, the same farm, I averaged about 1.2 deer a sitting.
    I know harvest is a valuable tool, but it can't be the end all be all. Most hunters kill 1 deer or less. That statistic for most doesn't change whether they see 15 deer a sitting, or 2 deer a sitting.
  14. Jaybo1120

    Jaybo1120 Fawn

    Nov 12, 2008
    That may be accurate and it may not be.. don't think for one minute they wouldn't tamper with the numbers if it means keeping everybody's $$$ coming in.

    It does seem kind of fishy that they have this big press release all of a sudden when everyone is reporting not seeing as many deer.

    We hunt in Breathitt County and found several EHD deer last year.
    For the last 5 years (02-06) it was normal to see 20-30 deer around the knob we hunt in one morning. The last two years that has been cut in half (since EHD). That said I did kill my nicest buck this year. The EHD might have pushed the buck-doe ratio closer to where it needs to be..
  15. bowhunter269

    bowhunter269 12 pointer

    Nov 21, 2006
    Fisherville, KY
    According to the poll on this forum........
    53+ % saw less deer
    46+ % saw the same or more deer
    So.......... it could be possible that statewide deer numbers are not significantly down, as most responding to this thread seem to indicate........just a comment on the statistics.
    I personally believe some areas are just as good (or better) than they've ever been, and others are down, but overall KY's herd is in great shape. My opinion only.
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