Record Harvest for Kentucky Modern Gun Deer Season

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by JDMiller, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "

    Record Harvest for Modern Gun Deer Season
    Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife800-858-1549

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2019) - Kentucky deer hunters harvested a record 107,039 deer during the 16-day modern gun season that concluded Nov. 24.

    “Season timing and weather conditions before opening day made us think we should have a good season,” said Kyle Sams, acting Deer and Elk Program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “We had a poor mast crop this year, which puts deer on the move. We also had perfect weather: not too cold and not too warm.”

    Last year, Kentucky hunters harvested 106,804 deer during the modern gun season, which was a record until this season. (Online Telecheck results for modern gun harvest are different, as they include deer taken during youth season as well.)

    Sams said hunters harvested 35,143 deer on opening weekend of the modern gun season, 19,234 on the second weekend and 11,576 on the third weekend.

    “Those are harvest records for both the second and third weekends,” he said.

    Some of the increased antlered deer harvest during modern gun deer season over the past two seasons relates to regulation changes that increased modern gun deer season in Zone 3 and Zone 4 counties from 10 days to 16 days, so that all zones had the same season length. This change had been requested by many deer hunters and had strong support as documented in a recent deer hunter survey and an online questionnaire used to collect public input from hunters.

    “Those six extra days includes a weekend and that is big for those hunters,” Sams said. “It is one reason why that third weekend harvest was so high. Zone 4 hunters had six extra days to harvest an antlered deer.”

    Hunters may be concerned about possible overharvest of deer with two consecutive record modern gun season harvest totals. However, the statewide one-buck limit, coupled with a reduction in the bag limit of antlerless deer in Zone 4, ensure that this will not adversely affect the herd.

    “With bag limits for deer in place, overharvest is not a concern,” Sams said. “Biologists monitor deer harvest numbers annually to ensure the herd remains in good shape.”

    If deer season or bag-limit changes may be needed, evidenced by a trend in harvest data over 2-3 years, the department can evaluate relevant data and make such changes through the regulatory process.

    Sams expects the good hunting to continue during the December muzzleloader season that opens Dec. 14 and closes Dec. 22.

    “This season should be a good time to get an antlerless deer,” Sams said. “The last three days of the December muzzleloader season is important for Zone 4 counties because that is the only time they have to harvest an antlerless deer with a gun.”

    If current trends hold, the 2019-2020 deer season could be the second highest harvest total ever. The current record is 155,730 deer taken by hunters in the 2015-2016 season.

    For more information on deer hunting, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife webpage at or consult the Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide, available free wherever hunting licenses are sold.
  2. CRFmxracer

    CRFmxracer 10 pointer

    Sep 9, 2010
    louisville kentucky
    Weird it was the worst gun season I’ve ever had and pretty everyone else said the same thing
    Trophyspike and rockhousehunter like this.
  3. littlebear

    littlebear 12 pointer

    Aug 21, 2007
    the woods
    I’m hearing the same thing from lots of people.
    rockhousehunter likes this.
  4. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "
    Like a lot of things to do with hunting .... it all depends on location.

    Which on my place that first week of gun season was about as good as it gets. Been a long time since I’ve seen that much chasing during modern gun.

    I’ll also have to say for whatever reason (cold temps, moon phase,ect) it was an unusual amount of activity mid-day. Which seemed like early portions of the morning was slow and after 8 am it just kept getting better. As we saw more deer and a lot chasing in general around noon till 3... then at dusk it would be slow again. Just opposite from what you would normally expect.

    Which the only thing I really disagree with their assessment concerns acorn mast. We’re mostly timber at the farm and we had a better than average crop of acorns. Most was red oak but the deer & turkey were vacuuming them up.
    Ataulbe1, rlb165, 120+ and 3 others like this.
  5. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

    Jun 28, 2012
    I actually think the 2nd and 3rd weekends were better. I’ll bet it’s got to do with hunters in the woods and once those first weekend people shot a buck they were done with it.
  6. riverboss

    riverboss 12 pointer

    Jan 26, 2009
    northern ky
    Maybe antler size is starting to take a back seat to enjoying yourself!
    If this is true there may be hope for the future of deer hunting and common people who can't afford big leases!
  7. davers

    davers 12 pointer

    Jul 14, 2014
    I had a great Deer Season. Seen more Deer on my property since I've moved here back in 2008. I've taken one or two Deer each year I've lived here. It all about "Location" as someone suggested, plus the amount of Hunting pressure in a given area.
  8. 120+

    120+ 12 pointer

    Same for my group and area. A lot of chasing witnessed and acorns everywhere.
  9. littlebear

    littlebear 12 pointer

    Aug 21, 2007
    the woods
    I agree with it all depends on location but there is more people this year that I can remember in a long time seeing different than what you have seen. Normal years some say good some bad but this year higher numbers of people saying bad. I know and work with people in several counties plus lots more than average on this forum talking bad year. This year is different than years past for sure. Full moon didn’t help the rut either but we have had full moons in years past also.
    rockhousehunter likes this.
  10. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    And those are the ones actually checked in. No way to know, but would be interesting on how many never checked in.
    kyarcher likes this.
  11. littlebear

    littlebear 12 pointer

    Aug 21, 2007
    the woods
    Never have understood why some never check there deer in. Pretty easy to do. I bet it’s a crazy number not checked in.
    1wildcatfan likes this.
  12. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    Jan 19, 2004
    rush, ky, USA.
    I pretty much take this report with a grain of salt . With the record f&W has no way I just believe it's true or half assed accurate. The only thing I know for sure is what happened in daylight hours within hearing of me. It was a very very slow gun season in this area which doesn't mean that it wasn't a slaughter in the next county . It was definitely a bumper crop of acorns all around here the ground is littered .
    Southpaw likes this.
  13. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

    Jun 28, 2012
    Terrible acorn year where I hunt and last year wasn’t great either. Deer sightings about the same but not close to where they were 8-10 years ago. I never know what to believe with data, I feel like most of the spring turkey seasons suck where I hunt but it seems like record #s are posted every Spring. Who knows?
  14. WILD

    WILD 12 pointer

    Sep 7, 2009
    hick town,ky
    Don’t believe those numbers.i live in the country,outskirts of Frankfort and it was dead sounding as far as shots day i heard a lot of shots.but has sounded like a war in the past for days.
    rockhousehunter likes this.

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