wk oudoors deer yellowFRANKFORT, Ky. (8/30/13) – Kentucky's 2013-14 deer season opens on Saturday, Sept. 7, the first day of the 136-day archery season. The season continues through Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.
 
For the past three seasons, record harvests have been posted for the month of September: 5,577 deer in 2012, 4,945 in 2011 and 4,407 in 2010.
 
"Even though weather conditions aren't always ideal in September, there are some advantages to early season hunting,” said Tina Brunjes, deer program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
 
Most deer, even mature bucks, are still in their summer pattern when bow season opens. They are more visible during daylight hours than later in the season and their daily movements are more predictable. Deer frequent crop fields and weedy pastures in the late afternoons, especially when the rising moon is high in the sky at dusk. In September, these quarter moon periods fall on the 12th and 26th of the month.
 
The current statewide population estimate for Kentucky's deer herd is about 750,000, before fawning, with a stable to slightly decreasing trend. "Hunters who are monitoring trail cameras or spending time observing deer in the afternoons realize it has been a good year for deer reproduction and survival,” said Brunjes. Heavy rains in the spring and early summer created lots of food and escape cover for deer.
 
The outlook for deer season is excellent, but ultimately the weather during modern gun season in November has the biggest impact on overall harvest.
 
Last season's deer harvest was the highest on record. Deer hunters reported taking 131,395 deer, a 9.8 percent increase from the 2011-2012 season. "A higher percentage of our hunters were successful,” said Brunjes. "The record harvest was opportunity driven. They saw deer and they took them.”
 
The 2012-13 harvest included 42 reported entries, 31 typical and 11 non-typical, into the Boone & Crockett Club record book. These record deer came from 35 of Kentucky's 120 counties.
 
After each season, deer managers calculate a population estimate for every county by in-putting harvest and age structure data into a computer population model.
 
Counties are assigned a zone status which affects season lengths and bag limits. Kentucky is divided into four deer management zones.
 
The management strategy for Zone 1 is herd reduction. For Zone 2 and 3 counties, herd maintenance is the goal. Increasing the herd is the aim for Zone 4 counties. This season there were no changes in the zone status for any of Kentucky's 120 counties.
 
"We're where we want to be in most counties,” said Brunjes. "There were no changes in the regulations this season because we're happy with having a high percentage of older bucks and about 50 percent of does in the harvest.”
 
Overall age structure of the harvest indicates that the majority of hunters are recognizing and passing up male fawns. Most antlered bucks taken in the 2012-2013 season were 2 1/2 years old or older. The female harvest was also primarily comprised of adults, rather than fawns or yearlings.
 
In the past decade, the Zone 1 counties in northern Kentucky have experienced the most herd growth. "Populations took off in the late 1990s and have remained high,” said Brunjes.
 
Hunters who would like to donate venison should visit the Kentucky Hunters For the Hungry website at www.huntersforhungry.org for the list 57 processors who are accepting deer.
 
"This is our 13th season of providing nutritious venison to needy Kentucky families,” said Ivan Schell, KHFH Executive Director. "The 70,000 pounds of venison processed annually provides about 500,000 meals.”
 
KHFH pays for the processing and hunters who donate a deer receive a car sticker confirming their "doe-nation.”
 
Author Art Lander Jr. has been writing about the outdoors since the 1970s. He is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine.
 
WK Outdoors
Information provided by Tia Edwards (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife)
www.wkoutdoors.com

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Man Charged for Selling Drugs from Red Cardinal Inn

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/30/15) ― A Madisonville man has been charged for allegedly selling drugs out of his room at the… Read More

Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter in Cadiz Honors 22 Vietnam Veterans on 'Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day'

KENTUCKY (3/30/15) — On Sunday afternoon the Compatriots of the Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter honored 22 veterans of the… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 27, 2015 5874

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 25, 2015 5416

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 5170

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 5106

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 4275

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 25, 2015 4109

Madisonville Man's Living Room Leap Lands Him in…

by Madisonville Police Department / Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 13785

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11619

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 30, 2015 2124

Man Charged with Child Abuse After Allegedly…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 30, 2015 1921

Juvenile Arrested for Cruelty to Animals

by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 30, 2015 1477

Two Charged in Bremen Meth Bust

by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
March 29, 2015 1129

Huge Turnout Joins to Support Shanice Bean Family

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 29, 2015 980

Should Inactivity be Classified as a Disease?

by Mallory Powell
March 30, 2015 831

Report of Suspicious Man Ends with PI, Meth…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 29, 2015 826

Covenant Community Church Hosts Annual…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 29, 2015 752

North American Stainless to Make $150 Million…

by Office of the Governor
March 30, 2015 743

Man Charged for Selling Drugs from Red Cardinal…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 29, 2015 683

Market Commentary - March 29, 2015

by Randall L. Franklin