Art Lander’s Outdoors: News and observations as Kentucky’s white-tailed deer season set to start


Kentucky’s 2019-20 hunting season for white-tailed deer opens tomorrow, with the starting of archery hunting, a 136-day season that continues by means of Monday, January 20, 2020.

Under are some news and observations about our most well-liked significant game animal.

• Deer numbers in the U.S. have grown because the 1930s when the population had dropped to an all-time low estimate of 300,000.

• In the previous 150 years, extra than 35 subspecies of the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have been described in the scientific literature, but current genetic research have verified that there are just 16 subspecies.

For the second year, all 120 counties will have a 16-day contemporary gun season (Photo from KDFWR)

• In Kentucky, extra than a century of habitat destruction and subsistence hunting by 19th-century settlers took its toll on neighborhood herds. Deer numbers crashed.

By 1915 deer had been absent from most of Kentucky, except for remnant herds in a handful of counties in western Kentucky. It would be 84 years just before deer restoration efforts would be full in all 120 Kentucky counties.

Upon the recommendation of the Division of Game and Fish, the Kentucky Common Assembly prohibited deer hunting in 1916. Deer hunting in Kentucky would not resume till 1946.

• Today there are extra than 30 million white-tailed deer in the U.S.

• Under the cautious management of the Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife Sources (KDFWR), the state’s deer herd rebounded by means of the decades, from about 35,000 in the late 1960s to 149,000 by 1981, and 610,00 by 1999, when restoration ended.

Now, Kentucky’s deer herd is steady all round, trending larger in some counties.

According to deer reports posted on the KDFWR web-site, the statewide herd estimate at the start off of the 2017-18 hunting season was 858,876 deer, a quantity generated from harvest and age structure information.

• For the second year, all 120 counties will have a 16-day contemporary gun season this November.

• On typical, contemporary gun hunters take about 75 % of the total deer harvest for a provided season.

• Deer harvest in November, which consists of prime time for archery hunters and the state’s 16-day contemporary gun season, has trended in a steady, narrow variety for the previous six seasons, from 105,666 in 2013 to 111,20 in 2018.

• Last season’s deer harvest of 145,753 was the second-highest on record.

• By permit variety, 71 % of harvested deer are checked in on a statewide permit, 19 % on a landowner permit and 9 % on a senior/disabled permit.

• Hunters get anxious and excited when they see a deer coming into variety.

Kentucky is amongst seven states viewed as higher-danger for automobile-deer collisions. (Photo from Wikipedia Commons)

But, in Kentucky, and 5 surrounding states, there’s a great opportunity that excitement could possibly come throughout the drive to or from your hunting region when there’s a deer in your headlights.

In the October 2019 situation of Customer Reports their function “Map of the Month” asks the query “How most likely are you to hit a deer?”

Fifteen states east of the Mississippi River, mainly in the Good Lakes area and Southeast, are viewed as higher-danger states for automobile/deer collisions.

The graphic shows that Kentucky, and 5 of its seven surrounding states, are higher-danger states. In Kentucky, your possibilities are 1 in 107 of a automobile collision with a deer.

Compiled by the Customer Reports automobile testing and study employees, the details in the graphic showed that driving in West Virginia poses the highest danger in the U.S., 1 in 48.

The other 4 higher-danger states adjoining Kentucky are Virginia, 1 in 99 Missouri, 1 in 110 Ohio, 1 in 134 and Indiana, 1 in 147. Tennessee and Illinois and viewed as medium-danger states.

Motorists, such as deer hunters, really should stay vigilant when driving rural backroads, early and late in the day, throughout the fall and early winter, when deer are most active.

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Art Lander Jr. is outdoors editor for KyForward. He is a native Kentuckian, a graduate of Western Kentucky University and a life-extended hunter, angler, gardener and nature enthusiast. He has worked as a newspaper columnist, magazine journalist and author and is a former employees writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine, editor of the annual Kentucky Hunting &amp Trapping Guide and Kentucky Spring Hunting Guide, and co-writer of the Kentucky Afield Outdoors newspaper column.


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