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Modern gun deer looking season developing in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) – Autumn in Kentucky brings earlier sunsets that result in crisp mornings and an explosion of fall colours that offers approach to naked branches.

Deer motion will increase and builds pleasure amongst hunters.

The fashionable gun deer season opens in lower than two weeks and is timed to start out with the height of breeding exercise, often known as the rut.

The 2022-2023 deer season is off to a robust begin.

Archery and crossbow hunters posted the second-highest harvest whole on report for September, and October’s numbers have been up over final yr.

Historically, most deer hunters are within the woods throughout the fashionable gun season, which this yr opens Nov. 12 and continues by means of Nov. 27.

Noelle Thompson, deer program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, factors out that the trendy gun season alone accounted for 73 % of the overall statewide deer harvest of greater than 132,000 deer final yr.

“We aren’t seeing a bumper crop of acorns in most areas, so deer should be on the move in search of food this fall to sustain them through the winter,” Thompson stated. “This will mean good opportunities for hunters to see more deer and fill their freezers with healthy venison this season. I recommend hunting near oak trees or groves with good acorn crops this year, and not solely on food plots or green fields.”

Annual laborious mast manufacturing, or the variety of acorns and nuts produced by Kentucky’s hardwood timber, influences whitetail habits all through the season as a deer’s main meals supply.

The 2022 statewide mast survey rated white oak and purple oak acorn manufacturing as common.

Cody Rhoden, small recreation program coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, coordinates the division’s annual statewide mast survey with Zak Danks, the division’s wild turkey and ruffed grouse program coordinator. Rhoden stated dry circumstances noticed throughout the late summer time and this fall will possible result in an early mast drop of all hardwood species, which means accessible laborious mast could possibly be exhausted sooner.

Beyond being pushed by pure instincts within the fall, deer additionally turn out to be extra energetic and journey farther distances as meals sources develop scarcer.

“Higher amounts of hardwood mast in Kentucky’s forests leads to fewer encounters with animals, including deer,” Rhoden stated. “The opposite is true for times of lean mast, which may result in higher harvest rates of game animals, such as squirrels and deer as these animals must move more to find food.”

Kentucky affords greater than 1 million acres of public land open to looking, fishing, and different outside recreation. Hunters can discover locations to hunt by utilizing Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s on-line Public Lands Search at Using the ArcGIS app, hunters can view GPS areas instantly on boundary maps for public lands in Kentucky.

Scouting earlier than a season is at all times really useful and it could possibly be much more necessary this yr.

“Following the natural disasters that have occurred throughout the state, many areas have experienced changes in cover,” Thompson famous. “What used to be a perfect spot may look differently now. To be more prepared, hunters should visit hunting locations and assess equipment before heading into the field.”

Hunters could use firearms, crossbows, bows, pistols, muzzleloaders, or sure high-caliber air weapons to take deer throughout particular seasons. Familiarize your self with laws and seasons by going surfing to view the Fall Hunting and Trapping Guide.

Unless in any other case exempt, all deer hunters should possess a valid Kentucky hunting license, deer allow, and proof of hunter training certification.

Licensed hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1975, will need to have hunter training certification.

Rachel Crume, supervisor who oversees Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) packages, stated there’s nonetheless time for hunters to get their certification. Training consists of on-line or in-person classwork, plus live-firing at a variety.

“There’s a free classroom portion of hunter education offered online,” she stated. “First-time eligible hunters can also speed up the process through the temporary hunter education exemption permit option with a qualified mentor to accompany them afield.”

Visit the division’s “Hunter Education” net web page to view extra data on acquiring certification, license necessities, and one-time exemption permits for brand spanking new hunters.

As a security reminder, all hunters should put on a blaze orange hat plus a vest or jacket throughout firearms deer seasons. Also, hunters ought to at all times make sure of their goal and what’s past it earlier than ever taking a shot.

Special deer looking laws are in place in western Kentucky to assist stop the unfold of continual losing illness (CWD) into the state. CWD has not been detected in Kentucky.

Special CWD Surveillance Zone laws in Calloway, Marshall, Graves, Hickman, and Fulton counties prohibit baiting, limit carcass importation and transportation, and set necessities for test stations.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will function 13 obligatory CWD Check Station areas within the CWD Surveillance Zone throughout the fashionable gun weekends of Nov. 12-14, Nov. 19-21, and Nov. 26-27. All deer harvested in these 5 counties throughout the listed dates should be taken to a test station.

In addition, the division will function three voluntary CWD Check Stations for deer or elk in Bell and Harlan counties. These will function on Nov. 12-13, Nov. 19-20, and Nov. 26-27. Hunters will obtain free animal growing older and CWD testing for the deer or elk delivered to the test stations.

Deer hunters outdoors the CWD Surveillance Zone can support Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s monitoring efforts by donating the heads of legally harvested and telechecked deer for testing and growing older by means of the voluntary Deer Sample Collection Station program. There isn’t any price to hunters.

For present details about CWD, log on to

Suspected criminality associated to fish, wildlife or boating could also be anonymously reported utilizing the KFWLaw smartphone app.

Tips may also be submitted from non-smartphones with texting capabilities by texting the key phrase “KFWLaw” together with a message to 847411 (tip 411) or by calling 800-25-ALERT.

Callers are requested for the county that they’re calling about and forwarded to the closest Kentucky State Police submit, which dispatches a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife conservation officer.

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