According to Kentucky.gov, The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission recently proposed new deer hunting changes to the season dates and regulations for the 2018-19 season.
These proposed changes come on the heels of a historic EHD outbreak throughout the eastern half of the state. On top of that, the majority of the state had just finally recovered from the bad outbreaks in 2007 and 2012. Now, many officials and hunters throughout the region feel the increase in deer permits and length of gun seasons will do further harm to the deer population.
Creating an antlerless-only modern gun hunt during the last weekend of September in Zone 1 counties.
Expanding the modern gun deer season to 16 days statewide.
Modifying the statewide deer permit from a two-deer limit to four deer, and the youth deer permit from a one-deer limit to four deer. Hunters would still be limited to one antlered deer statewide, regardless of zone or method.
Changing the following counties from Zone 2 to Zone 1: Union, Henderson, McLean, Muhlenberg, Todd, Mercer, Mason and Hart.
Changing the following counties from Zone 3 to Zone 2: Warren, Allen, Monroe, Barren, Metcalfe, Adair, Edmonson, Butler, Breckinridge, Meade, Hancock, Daviess, Taylor, Casey, Lincoln, Boyle, Madison, Clark, Montgomery and Bath.
Changing the following counties from Zone 4 to Zone 3: Garrard, Pulaski, Wayne and Laurel.
Allowing hunters to take only one antlerless deer with a firearm in Zone 3.
Setting a Zone 4 season bag limit of two deer, consisting of one antlered and one antlerless deer. Antlerless deer could only be taken during youth gun seasons, during archery and crossbow seasons, or the last three days of the December muzzleloader season.
Allowing hunters to take a bag limit of deer in each zone, independent of the other zone’s bag limits.
Modifying the additional deer permit from a two-deer limit to 15 deer. Hunters would still be limited to one antlered deer statewide, regardless of zone or method.
Allowing a person to use an unlimited number of deer control tags. The current limit is five tags.
I’ve deer hunted in the state of Kentucky my entire life. I live here, just like many of you. I’m out there helping to manage this wonderful resource just like thousands of other dedicated deer hunters throughout the state. Personally, I feel some of these changes could have the potential to do more harm than good.
Whitetails make the hunting world go round. Josh Honeycutt, deer hunting editor and "Brow Tines and Backstrap" blogger, knows a fair bit about killing mature deer. He was raised up hunting the river bottoms of Kentucky. And he still hunts there—among other places—to this day.
Follow along as he shares his adventures, experiences and knowledge of the white-tailed deer.