Kentucky Deer Population:    The state estimate 994,356 pre-hunt deer in 2022, down from a revised estimate of 1,049,217 deer in 2021. Down from the recent high of about 1,375,000 in 2015. Herd analysis at right.

Kentucky Deer News

Our real fish and wildlife experts not consulted on power grab by KY Senate March 20, 2024 Kentucky, Yahoo

... Senate Bill 3 ... would move the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife under the direction of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture... Often times wildlife conservation efforts are diametrically opposed to agricultural efforts. One of the stated goals of the Kentucky Farm Bureau ... is a reduction of species such as whitetail deer, elk ...

Kentucky Hunters Fight Senate Plan to Move Wildlife Agency to Department of Agriculture March 14, 2024 Field & Stream

... SB3 will transfer oversight of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) from the state’s Tourism Cabinet to the Department of Agriculture,.. Kentucky Department of Agriculture ... is only in charge of monitoring captive deer farms ...

From extinct to tourism boom: Elk thrive atop reclaimed coal mines in Eastern Kentucky February 20, 2024 Kentucky, The Cincinnati Enquirer

... Today, a herd of more than 11,000 rocky mountain elk thrives atop reclaimed coal mines in Eastern Kentucky, but that wasn’t the case just three decades ago. The herd's close cousins, the eastern elk, were hunted to extinction by early European settlers..,

2023 KY deer season harvest drops 2.56 percent; chronic wasting disease detected January 19, 2024 Kentucky, NKyTribune

... There were 140,812 deer reported taken, which is 3,703 fewer than last year, and represents a 2.56 percent decline... For the first time a deer taken by a hunter in Kentucky has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)... in Ballard County..,

KY Dept. of Fish & Wildlife shares latest on Chronic Wasting Disease response plan January 12, 2024 Kentucky, Bowling Green WBKO on MSN

...“So, mandatory check stations, or a banning on feeding and baiting of deer, and then the restricting of movements of deer carcasses were some of the normal things, and those are outlined in our plan,” [Gabe Jenkins, the agency’s Deputy Commissioner] ...

CWD era begins: With deer disease here, we and the whitetails will cope December 20, 2023 Kentucky, Times Leader

... Chronic wasting disease ...  in Kentucky first was revealed with positive results from an incidental test done on tissues from a 2½-year-old Ballard County whitetail buck... The deer appeared perfectly healthy. The only reason it was tested for chronic wasting disease, CWD, is that it was taken to a meat processing shop ...

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife call on the public to help slow the spread of disease in deer December 13, 2023 WDKY Lexington 

... “The hard thing about this to understand is that healthy deer can be sick as well as those that do actually look sick. An animal that’s clinically ill with the classic Chronic Wasting signs is that very skinny animal; it can be excessively salivating, it can be uncoordinated, stumbling across the landscape, arching its back, and looking awkward...

Can Kentucky reduce the number of wildlife hit on highways? It got $1.2M to find out how December 12, 2023 YAHOO!News

... In 2022, there were 3,083 reported deer collisions statewide ... they are particularly interested in studying segments of Interstate 64 and U.S. 60 between Louisville and Frankfort, due to the "high" number of annual deer crashes...

Chronic wasting disease confirmed in Kentucky for first time December 7, 2023  Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources News

... Two independent types of tests were performed on tissue collected from a 2 ½-year-old male white-tailed deer that was harvested by a hunter in Ballard County in November. Both tests yielded the same test result: the deer was infected with the abnormal proteins that cause CWD.​​​  It is Kentucky’s first documented case of the disease.​.,

Kentucky hunter dies after struggle with wounded deer October 27, 2023 YAHOO!News

... 37-year-old Jared Hausfeld, of Versailles, was injured while struggling with the deer ... was tracking and trying to harvest the deer ...

CWD, Deer mating season brings with it several concerns in Kentucky  October 18, 2023 Morehead State Public Radio

... 49,000 deer and 1,000 elk have been tested since 2002, and chronic wasting disease has not yet been detected in the Commonwealth.  “Unfortunately, six of the seven bordering states do have it, and we’ve actually got it within eight miles of our border within two separate places,” ..,

Deer Dies After Deputies Helped Her Give Birth, But Rescue Center 'Has Hope' Her Her Twin Fawns Will Survive August 25, 2023 Kentucky, People

... “Unfortunately, mama didn’t make [it] despite my efforts to save her,” ...  the animal was lying out in the Kentucky heat for two days trying to give birth...

     Officers rescue deer in labor and in distress, help delivery twin fawns August 23, 2023 Kentucky, WBKO

... Animal Control Officer Lisa responded and immediately saw the deer was in labor and in distress ... A rehab facility responded and all three deer were transported to their temporary home ...

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Files Lawsuit in Deer Disease Case May 8, 2023 Kentucky Fish and Wildlife News

... The agency said the hunter illegally imported the deer head from Wisconsin and paid a $50 fine plus court costs in Shelby County District Court Jan. 3. Behringer, the agency stated, admitted to the violation, specifically state regulation 301 KAR 2:095. The head later tested positive for chronic wasting disease ...

Deer harvest among highest in recent years January 30, 2023 Kentucky, Bowling Green Daily News

... Biologists noted before the season that dry conditions observed during the late summer and early fall would likely lead to early mast drop of all hardwood species, meaning available hard mast could be exhausted sooner..,

Art Lander’s Outdoors: 2022 Kentucky deer season produces fourth highest harvest numbers in a decade January 27, 2023 Kentcky, NKyTribune

... Anecdotal evidence suggests that there was a good fawn crop last spring in some areas of central Kentucky, but Thompson said “ the fawn crop varies by region. It’s localized.”  The 2021-22 Kentucky White-tailed Deer Harvest and Population Report estimated that the statewide deer population was 919,308..,

No orange grove: It's Kentucky's firearms deer season November 12, 2022 Kentucky,

...  Last year, all deer hunters in all seasons took more than 132,000 whitetails, yet 73% of that came during the 16-day gun season ...  Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources managers ... set the gun season opening to the maximum action by starting on the second November Saturday ...

Modern gun deer hunting season coming up in Kentucky November 1, 2022 Kentucky, WAVE 3

... The 2022 statewide mast survey rated white oak and red oak acorn production as average...  deer should be on the move in search of food this fall to sustain them through the winter ...

So-so acorns, early drop may aid deer hunters  October 29, 2022 Kentucky, Paducah Sun..

... This year, as found by an annual “mast survey” by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, the statewide roundup shows acorn production as mediocre at best... One thing that does stand out about this year’s mast production is that acorns were unloaded by the oaks somewhat earlier than normal, perhaps two to three weeks earlier than the routine acorn drop ...

Five western Kentucky counties back under surveillance for deer disease October 10, 2022 West Kentucky Star 

... The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife established a Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Zone last year in Calloway, Marshall, Graves, Fulton, and Hickman counties after a deer in Tennessee had tested positive...

Kentucky enters peak season for collisions involving deer October 7, 2022 West Kentucky Star 

... Since 2021, 2,988 highway crashes involving deer were reported to police in Kentucky. This was an increase of about 100 crashes from 2020...

Antler Alert: Nearly 3,000 highway crashes with deer reported in 2021 October 5, 2022 Kentucky, Jessamine Journal

... In Kentucky, 2,988 highway crashes involving deer were reported to police in 2021, according to crash data used by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety to monitor highway crash trends. That was an increase of about 100 crashes from 2020...

Ky's 2022-23 deer season begins Saturday with opening of archery season September 2, 2022 Kentucky, NKyTribune

... The 2021-22 Kentucky White-tailed Deer Harvest and Population Report stated that “Overall, the statewide deer population estimate shows a stable to slightly decreasing trend. The 2021 statewide estimate was 919,308 deer at the start of the 2021-22 hunting season, (which is) less than 1 percent below the 10-year average.” ..,

Deer mating season is upon us, which may mean more wrecks in KY. Here’s the latest data 

September 1, 2022 Kentucky, Lexington Herald Leader 

... In 2020 for example, at least 2,091 highway crashes involving deer were reported to police, a database maintained by Kentucky State Police showed...

Fort Mitchell aims to educate people about animal conservation, after killing of deer in the city July 30, 2022 Kentucky, NKyTribune

... “The deer was truly a majestic animal and I hate what happened to it  ... but you can make a positive out of a negative and use this to teach the public about the importance of animal conservation,” ...

July brings peak of buck deer antler growth cycle July 9, 2022 Kentucky, Paducah Sun

... the basic growth

patterns that are hormone-driven by the photo period, the daily length of sunlight ...  the most robust of antler growth has been documented to amount to as much as an inch a day ...

CWD precautions continue in zone this deer season June 17, 2022 Kentucky, The Paducah Sun

... Last year, KDFWR personnel took samples and tested 7,547 deer and 55 elk for CWD statewide.

A total of 4,347 deer tested came from the five-county surveillance zone alone. Again, none of  those samples showed the presence of CWD...,

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources celebrates 25th Anniversary of elk restoraton with 2022 Elk Hunt Draw April 10, 2022

Paintsville Herald

... “Last year, in 2021, we issued 594 permits after receiving more than 90,000 entries to the elk hunt draw for a second straight year.” ... John Hast, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources elk/deer coordinator ...

Chronic wasting disease not detected in Kentucky April 5, 2022 West Kentucky Star - News

... staff collected harvest data and tissue samples from 4,347 deer...

Department of Fish and Wildlife holds 2022 Elk Hunt draw March 15, 2022 Yahoo

... a long-absent native species. Starting in 1997, 1,541 elk from seven western states were released in southeastern Kentucky. The Kentucky elk restoration zone is comprised of 16 counties across 4.3 million acres..,

Opposition grows by sportsmen’s groups to HB 395 March 5, 2022 Kentucky, The News-Enterprise

...  The bill would allow the Department of Agriculture to make four appointments to the Wildlife Commission, which now is done by sportsmen in the state to select a representative to be appointed by the governor and then that representative is approved by the senate...

Kentucky’s 2021-22 deer season yields state’s lowest harvest in nine years  January 21, 2022 Northern Kentucky Tribune

... Hunters reported checking in 132,296 deer, 56.8 percent bucks, and 43.2 does ... 

Kentucky's elk lottery scheme is open for business January 14, 2022 Murray Ledger

... A deal was struck with big landowners and coal companies who would receive one transferrable elk tag per year for every 5,000 acres they enrolled in the project... you will find are thousands of acres under lease to outfitters who charge from $5,000 to $20,000 for 3 or 5 day guided hunts ...

2021-22 deer harvest taking a step back January 8, 2022 Kentucky, Paducah Sun

... The total reported Kentucky deer harvest after the close of the free youth gun season was about

129,300... on pace for the lowest harvest in

almost a decade...  The estimated whitetail population across the state going into the hunting season was something thereabouts 870,000 to 880,000 ..,

Gun season done, others to go, deer harvest December 4, 2021 Kentucky,

... the current hunting year is running lower, but insignificantly lower in Kentucky’s deer

harvest than that of the previous year... 

Hit a deer as thousands in KY did in 2020 and tech could make repair bills larger.  November 4, 2021 Kentucky, Lexington Herald Leader

... According to the Kentucky State Police’s 2020 Traffic Collision Report, there were nearly 3,000 collisions with deer last year alone... the most likely time to hit a deer is between 5-8 a.m. and 5-8 p.m ...

In elk, a Kentucky professor sees an opportunity to help revitalize Appalachia October 18, 2021 WOUB

... in Kentucky, the eastern subspecies of elk native to the state were gone by the end of the 19th century, overhunted and their habitat degraded ... What started in 1997 as little more than 1,500 elk from the western U.S... has become ... the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi River, with an estimated nearly 16,000 elk across 16 eastern Kentucky counties last year. ..,

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet issues 'Antler Alert'  October 6, 2021 Ledger Independent 

... In Kentucky, 2,091 highway crashes involving deer were reported to police in 2020, according to a database maintained by Kentucky State Police ...

Deer hunters must use in-person CWD check stations in Western KY counties September 27, 2021 Kentucky, ABC 36 News

... Special regulations now apply to the five counties because CWD was recently confirmed in a northwestern Tennessee deer, just 7.8 miles south of Kentucky’s border....

Ky. Officials Activate Response Plan After Deer Found With Chronic Wasting Disease In Northern Tennessee September 9, 2021 Kentucky, WKMS

... The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in a release Wednesday states Tennessee wildlife officials confirmed the fatal neurological disease in a 3½ year-old female deer in Henry County, Tennessee. The deer was found about eight miles away from the Kentucky-Tennessee border southwest of Murray ...

State wildlife commission concerned about turkey, deer populations June 8, 2021 Kentucky, WTVQ

... Extensive research presented to the state Fish and Wildlife Commission said the state’s deer and turkey populations are in danger in some areas of the state.  It means fewer hunters ..,

Re-populating: Fawning season sending deer numbers soaring May 22, 2021 Kentucky, Paducah Sun

... from the 1 million or so deer in Kentucky at the beginning of last fall’s hunting seasons, hunters reported taking more than 148,000. Then, scads more perished as a result of natural mortalities, predation, collisions with vehicles, poaching ..,

Deer season yields a top-five harvest total February 13, 2021 Kentucky, Times Tribune of Corbin

... Hunter numbers surged last year.  Kentucky Fish and Wildlife sold more than 320,000 hunting licenses in 2020, a significant jump from the previous year’s total of slightly less than 308,000 licenses..,

Kentucky’s 2020-2021 deer season results in fifth-highest harvest on record February 12, 2021 Kentucky Forward

...  white-tailed deer season as hunters checked in 141,630 deer ... more than 320,000 hunting licenses were sold in 2020, a significant jump from the previous year’s total of slightly less than 308,000 licenses. More than 20,800 new hunters purchased a license last year..,

Deer season yields a top-five harvest total February 10, 2021 Kentucky, WTVQ

... An expanded crossbow season combined with an already generous archery season also helped the season-end total... Hunter numbers surged last year..,

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposes regulation changes December 23, 2020 WMKY

... would require hunters to make a reasonable effort to retrieve all game species taken as well as requiring the removal of usable portions of applicable game animals from the field. Thirty-two other states have wanton waste regulations already in place...

Kentucky officials use robot deer to catch man accused of poaching December 23, 2020 Fox News

... The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (DFW) recently deployed a robotic deer to catch a man accused of poaching ...

More Kentuckians turn to hunting due to COVID-19 December 7, 2020 Kentucky,

... Permits specific to deer are also up almost 3.6%, jumping from 291,116 in 2019 to 301,942 in 2020... 

Four Rivers Wildlife: A wildlife Thanksgiving November 25, 2020 Kentucky, Murray Ledger and Times

... There was a time in Kentucky when seeing a deer track — not just a deer, but simply a track — was a rare event. Elk hung on into the late 1800s, but the eastern elk subspecies was eventually driven extinct... Kentucky’s restored elk herd numbers well over 10,000 ...

Deer-related accidents increase in the fall November 4, 2020 Kentucky, WMKY

... In Kentucky, there are about 3,000 deer-vehicle collisions reported each year... the months of October through December bring a spike in deer-related accidents...

Kentucky’s modern gun deer season opens Nov. 14 November 4, 2020 Adair County Community Voice

...  Deer hunters annually spend more than $350 million in the Bluegrass state, sustaining more than 13,000 jobs and returning nearly $90 million in local, state and federal tax revenues...

Kentucky's white-tailed deer harvest is off to strong start as gun season looms October 30, 2020

... Kyle Sams, Deer Program Biologist ... estimated one million deer in Kentucky’s herd are healthy, with a favorable growth rate... north-central Kentucky have the highest deer densities in the state, an estimated 50 to 90 deer per square mile ... Kentucky’s record deer harvest of 155,734 occurred during the 2015-16 season ..,

Deer Sample Collection Stations established to monitor herd health October 9, 2020 Kentucky, Times Tribune of Corbin

... Chronic Wasting Disease has not been detected in Kentucky but is found in six of seven bordering states... Since 2002, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has CWD-tested more than 32,000 deer and elk from every county in the state...

2020-21 Kentucky Deer Season set to open on rescheduled Derby Day August 28, 2020 Kentucky Forward

... estimated one million deer in Kentucky’s herd is healthy, with a favorable growth rate...  Kyle Sams, Deer Program Biologist and acting Deer and Elk Program Coordinator ... “Deer herds are coming back in eastern Kentucky ... from the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) outbreak in 2017... The Zone 1 counties in western Kentucky have reached their social carrying capacity ... Herd densities are lower, but crop damage is high.” ..,

The environmental history of Newport, a former woodland with rich forest heritage July 20, 2020 Kentucky,  NKyTribune

...The deer was the largest source of meat for pre-settlement Native Americans. Deer antlers were used to fashion arrow points as well as harpoons for fishing in the rivers. The long bones of deer were grooved crosswise to become musical rasps ... Deerskins became clothing, shoes, pouches, blankets and additional articles..,

Elk, protests and making change July 5, 2020 Kentucky, Newsday

... the devastating mining technique known as mountaintop removal that deposited rocky debris from the tops of Kentucky’s high, steep ridges into undeveloped valleys below created ideal habitat for elk.  Kentucky now has 14,000 elk in coal country, bringing numerous ecological and economic benefits..,

Elk return to Kentucky, bringing economic life July 3, 2020 The Baltimore Sun

... Two independent consultants have estimated that it could draw more than 1 million annual visitors and add more than $150 million per year to the regional economy... the last one was killed before the Civil War. By the 1900s, few residents remembered there had once been elk in the state... Kentucky is now home to the largest population of elk east of the Mississippi..,

Fawning season: Deer numbers flourish with little, spotted sorts May 26, 2020 Kentucky, The Trib

... a high percentage of all new deer fawns are born within this period of about three weeks ... There is some safety in numbers here. Playing the odds, when most vulnerable fawns are out there concurrently, it is more difficult for predators to eat all of them...

Kentucky 2019-20 Deer Harvest January 24, 2020 KDFWR News

...  Hunters reported taking 148,382 deer, 53 percent antlered and 47 percent antlerless in the 2019-20 season, according to harvest data posted on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) website....  A contributing factor to the record kill was the scarcity of mast and green forage, due to the unseasonably hot and dry fall, that kept deer on the move, in search of food..,

Once nonexistent, elk are making a major comeback in Kentucky January 16, 2020 Kentucky, WLWT Cincinnati

... Accounts from Kentucky pioneers suggest that elk were abundant in many areas of the state ... habitat loss and overhunting led to widespread depopulation ... The last wild elk of Kentucky's pioneer era was reportedly killed prior to the Civil War, a KDFWR report states... the population is estimated at 13,106, according to a 2019 report..,

Amendments to wildlife regulations proposed January 9, 2020 Kentucky, Morehead News

... The proposed regulation would only allow deboned meat, antlers, antlers attached to clean skull, a clean skull, clean upper canine teeth, hides and finished taxidermy products to be brought into Kentucky.  The second proposed change would require double fencing on all new and expansions of existing captive cervid facilities ...

  Deer dies 2 weeks after being wounded by arrow near Cherokee Park January 2, 2019 Kentucky, WAVE Louisville 

... There are concerns in the Highlands about the safety of people and animals after a deer was hit with an arrow and wasn't found to put it out of its misery for a couple of weeks...

State sees record harvest for deer December 16, 2019 Kentucky, Messenger-Inquirer

... Since there has been a slight increase in the corn harvest this year, deer activity near cornfields and soybean fields have also increased, allowing hunters to track more deer moving through fields.  There were also several regulation changes that might have caused the uptick in deer harvesting, according to Kyle Sams, deer and elk program coordinator ...

Amendments to wildlife regulations proposed December 12, 2019 Kentucky, SurfKY News (blog)

...  recommended two changes to help prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease into Kentucky... only allow deboned meat, antlers, antlers attached to clean skull, a clean skull, clean upper canine teeth, hides and finished taxidermy products to be brought into Kentucky...  would require double fencing on all new and expansions of existing captive cervid facilities ...

Record deer harvest in Kentucky during modern gun season December 6, 2019 WPSD Local 6

...hunters harvested 107,039 deer .. 235 more deer harvested compared to last year ... the record until this season ..,

Kentucky deer harvest strong heading into final weekend of modern gun season November 22, 2019 NKyTribune

... Kentucky’s deer harvest has climbed steadily, in an undulating, upward curve, over the past 20 years.  In 1999, the total deer harvest was 95,229, and 15 years ago hunters bagged 124,752 whitetails.  In the past decade, the deer harvest has increased by 28.32 percent, from 113,584 in 2009 to 145,753 in 2018.  Last season’s deer harvest in Kentucky was the second-highest on record...

Deputies looking for man after finding live deer in McCracken County home November 21, 2019 Kentucky, WPSD Local 6

... Inside the home, deputies found a live deer standing on a bed. Items in the home indicated the deer had been living inside for some time.  The doe was eventually corralled outside and ran away...

Stop wildlife disease at the state border November 14, 2019 Kentucky. Morehead News

... Kentucky prohibits anyone from bringing whole carcasses of deer or elk into Kentucky from another state... The ban is just one way the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is working to protect the Commonwealth’s deer and elk herds from chronic wasting disease (CWD)...

Modern gun season for deer opens Saturday November 6, 2019 Kentucky, The Messenger

...  a month ago, as a debilitating drought gripped Kentucky. The month of September was the driest month on record in the state ... We finally had rain in October ... "This will help winter survival for deer, especially in a year with a poor mast crop." ..,

Defend against Chronic Wasting Disease this fall October 31, 2019 Kentucky, Times Tribune

... the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is increasing its efforts to monitor the state for chronic wasting disease ... tested more than 30,000 deer and elk for CWD since 2002 and plan to increase our monitoring this fall ... never been detected in Kentucky ...  illegal to bring whole carcasses of deer, elk, moose and caribou into the state..

Deer crossing everywhere this time of year October 19, 2019 Kentucky, Richmond Register

... in 2018, 3,086 deer-vehicle collisions were reported across Kentucky, a slight drop from the more than 3,200 reported to police agencies in 2017.  "October, November and December account for about half of the deer-car collisions,"  ...

Kentucky is home to a rich diversity of native and non-native fish and wildlife October 18, 2018 NKYTribue

...   Kentucky’s native elk, the Eastern elk, was gone from the state by the 1880s, due to habitat loss and unregulated hunting... Beginning in 1997 through 2002, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife (KDFWR) employees live-trapped 1,547 elk from wild herds in Kansas, Utah, New Mexico ... In the 2018-19 Elk Report KDFWR biologist estimated that Kentucky’s elk herd numbered about 13,100..,

CWD, State officials monitoring threat of deer disease October 9, 2019 Kentucky,

... Chronic wasting disease ... has now been found in 26 states, including six that border Kentucky... Gabe Jenkins, deer and elk program coordinator for the state, said deer hunting has an annual economic impact of $550 million in Kentucky...

Observations on Kentucky's white-tailed deer season September 28, 2019 Paducah Sun

... the state's deer herd rebounded from the early 1900's when deer were absent from most of Kentucky ... from about 35,000 in the late 1960s to 149,00 by 1981, and 610,000 by 1999, when restoration ended... According to the KDFWR website, the statewide herd estimate at the start of the 2017-18 hunting season was 858,876 ...

News and observations as Kentucky's white-tailed deer season set to begin September 11, 2019 Richmond Register

... According to deer reports posted on the KDFWR website, the statewide herd estimate at the start of the 2017-18 hunting season was 858,876 deer ...By 1915 deer were absent from most of Kentucky ...  about 35,000 in the late 1960s to 149,000 by 1981, and 610,00 by 1999 ...

News and observations as Kentucky’s white-tailed deer season set to begin September 6, 2019, Northern Kentucky Tribune

... Kentucky’s deer herd is stable overall, trending higher in some counties.  According to deer reports posted on the KDFWR website, the statewide herd estimate at the start of the 2017-18 hunting season was 858,876 deer, a number generated from harvest and age structure data..,

Ky’s 2019-2020 white-tailed deer season opens Sept. 7  August 23, 2019 Kentucky, Northern Kentucky Tribune

... Kentucky’s deer herd is large, and populations in some counties are at an all-time high. Deer harvest has climbed steadily, in an undulating, upward curve over the past 20 years. ... In the past decade the deer harvest has increased by 28.32 percent, from 113,584 in 2009 to 145,753 in 2018...

Kentucky wildlife officials urge public to report sick or dead deer August 22, 2019 WLWT

... The department has reported a confirmed case of hemorrhagic disease in a deer in Graves County...

Preview of Kentucky's fall hunting seasons August 14, 2019 Richmond Register

... Populations are stable but fluctuate slightly each year based on food availability.  The Kentucky Division of Forestry estimates that 48 percent of Kentucky, some 12.4 million acres, is forested and that 75 percent of these forest lands are composed of oak-hickory forest type, the most advantageous to wildlife..,

Deer with broken legs beats odds under care of local wildlife rehabilitation July 19, Kentucky, Owensboro Times

... injured in a farm accident. Two broken legs ... Within three weeks of placing the splints, Allen had [the deer] Victor walking again ... But another two weeks and Victor was able to join Allen’s other 11 deer in rehabilitation in her outdoor enclosure...

When Understanding 'Love Thy Neighbor' May 26, 2019 Kentucky, SurfKY News

... young deer lay in the field, thinking they are hiding, and are killed by the farmer’s tractor or the hay implements. It happens every year... 

Hunters hit deer harvest records; Chronic Wasting Disease now in six states January 3, 2019  Kentucky, North Kentucky Tribune

... An increase in the bag limit, allowing four deer to be taken on statewide and youth deer permits ... While the harvest in the season’s first 10 days was average compared to recent years, there was a significant increase in the final six days, due to the lengthening of modern gun season to 16 days in all 120 counties..,

Chronic Wasting, Kentucky Fish And Wildlife Enacts New Hunting Restrictions To Prevent Spread Of Deer And Elk Disease December 15, 2018 LEX 18 

... hunters are prohibited from bringing any deer from Tennessee into Kentucky unless the brain and spinal column have been removed first...

New Deer Hunting Regulations Proposed For 2019 Season December 8, 2018 Kentucky, LEX 18

... Implement two deer quota hunts on Higginson-Henry WMA: a quota archery/crossbow quota hunt starting the Monday after the third Saturday in October through Nov. 30 and a two-day modern gun quota on the first weekend in November...

Expanded opportunities lead to new harvest record for modern gun deer season concluded December 3, 2018 Kentucky, KY Forward 

... changes included expanding the modern gun deer season to 16 days statewide, which added six additional hunting days in some areas. Other changes adjusted statewide and youth deer permits to allow for the harvest of up to four deer and reclassified 32 counties to a less restrictive zone..,

Record KY 2018 deer gun season harvest November 27, 2018 Kentucky, KFVS12 

... A total of 106,797 deer were harvested during 2018 gun season in Kentucky... more does were harvested in Zone 1 and 2 counties than in the past 10 years. The past record was in 2015 with 105,440...

Kentucky man bags 'rare' deer with decapitated buck head entangled in its antlers  November 16, 2018 Fox News

... The buck was “carrying around another set of antlers and part of a decomposing carcass ... Bet they were fighting and that's the end result ...

Kentucky deer season to open Nov. 10 November 5, 2018 Portsmouth Daily Times

... Wildlife officials encourage the taking of does to control a herd that exceeds 800,000..,

For deer hunters across Kentucky ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ November 1, 2018 KY Forward 

... Kentucky’s deer herd is large ... Deer season regulations have been vastly liberalized, the most in almost 20 years... “We had a very wet winter and there’s plenty of forage for both adults and fawns, so we expect to see high survival,” ..,

2018 Kentucky Deer Forecast October 30, 2018 Game & Fish

...  the herd reproduction has increased to the point that another increase in harvest is needed keep herd production in check, thus longer seasons, increased limits and zone changes..,

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: 2018 Deer Season Update October 19, 2018 WMKY

... “We had a very wet winter and there’s plenty of forage for both adults and fawns, so we expect to see high survival. Traditionally, you have a stress period in July and August. That did not exist this year. They’ve had plenty of groceries on the landscape, so they should be in prime condition health-wise.” [Gabe Jenkins, deer and elk program coordinator] ...,

  Zoneton Fire Protection rescues 2 deer from flooded basement September 23, 2018 Kentucky, WAVE

... Firefighters got down into the water and were able to get the deer out safely ...

2018-19 Kentucky Deer Season Preview August 31, 2018 KYForward

... the antlered deer harvest has increased steadily, since the 2008-09 season.  Last season hunters reported taking 136,026 deer, 55.1 percent bucks to 44.9 percent does. Kentucky’s one-buck limit was established, and phased into the regulations over a three-year period, from 1989 to 1991..,

Missouri's Elk, Mountain Lion; Antlerless Deer Harvest Declines; Feral Hog July 27, 2018

... in Kentucky, and throughout the 37-state range of the white-tailed deer, the harvest of antlerless deer (does) has declined ... since the 2005 season, the last year that hunters took more does than bucks (52 percent does to 48 percent bucks).  The 12-year trend is part of the reason why deer populations in some counties have increased over time to densities that are well above management goals...

Man puts deer on leash, upsets Kentucky wildlife officials June 20, 2018 WAVE

... Many people in Louisville are upset after photos and videos of a man with a deer on a leash started popping up online... the person with Park Hill Bambi could also face fines up to $1,000...

With elk restoration in Kentucky completed, harvest management begins April 27, 2018 Art Lander

... From 1997 through 2002, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife employees live-trapped 1,547 elk from wild herds in [other states] and transported them by truck to eight stocking sites in [Kentucky] ... last stocking in 2002. By 2005, the herd estimate had climbed to almost 6,000; by 2007, almost 8,000, and by 2010, the project goal of 10,000 was reached..,

Answers to questions about proposed deer regulations April 7, 2018 Kentucky, WHAS11 News

... Currently, a hunter can harvest up to two deer with a statewide deer permit. The department has proposed raising that to four deer without raising the permit price for residents... In some areas of the state, deer numbers are above desired levels....

Expanded deer hunting, waterfowl changes recommended March 27, 2018 Kentucky,

The Gleaner

... recommended expanding modern gun season for deer to 16 days statewide, increasing the number of deer allowed on a statewide permit from two to four, and increasing some license and permit fees for non-residents...  designed to help thin the state’s deer herd in more densely populated areas while boosting numbers where deer populations are lower than desired...

Cloned animals helping out the Panhandle March 14, 2018 Kentucky, Commonwealth Journal's History

... "We've done it with well over 300 horses now that we've cloned," said Abraham. "And I do 15 to 20 deer every year ... all we do is we create the embryo, ... 

'Shock'ing deer in downtown Louisville takes steep dive into river February 26, 2018 Kentucky, Lexington Herald Leader

...  Moore’s friend began clapping, which caused the deer to detour away from the two. “She turned a little and then jumped...

Survival and Cause-Specific Mortality of a Southeastern Kentucky Deer Population February 2018 CA Haymes

... While much of the Commonwealth boasts high deer populations, those in southeast Kentucky are viewed as relatively low compared to other regions, even after a decade of restrictive doe harvest and multiple years of population supplementation via translocation ... Deer vehicle collisions and poaching were the most frequent mortality causes and represented 13 of 18 (72%) of mortalities..,

Kentucky Deer Population Challenges February 5, 2018 WEKU

... hemorrhagic disease hit particular hard in Appalachia. “Deer in east Kentucky do not repopulate as quickly as they do in other parts of the state. So, right now, I’m not sure we’re prepared to forecast how quickly they might return to the population numbers, prior to blue tongue,”  said Johnson..,

Why there are elk flying over Kentucky February 3, 2018 Mother Nature Network

... The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources officials are using helicopters to transport the large animals to various parts of "the elk zone."... Officials estimate that over 11,000 elk now roam across the state and graze on 4 million acres of land reclaimed from strip-mining..,

Hunters post fifth-highest deer harvest on record January 19, 2018 Kentucky,

...  a significant outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) that hit deer populations in parts of east Kentucky particularly hard followed by a historic cold snap late in the season that likely deterred some hunters...  deer populations in most eastern Kentucky counties were at the highest levels ever documented before the EHD outbreak..,

2017-18 deer harvest update; 38 eastern counties impacted by EHD outbreak December 15, 2017 Kentucky, Art Lander's Outdoors

...The 10-year average modern gun harvest is 92,153, and we were seven percent above that average at 98,199.”  As of December 12, the total number of deer reported taken was 126,575, with a sex ratio in the harvest of 56.4 percent male, to 43.6 female...,

Scott Co. Family Finds Pile Of Deer In Apparent Poaching Case December 3, 2017 Kentucky, LEX18 Lexington KY News

...  they came across a pile of seven dead deer with just the backstraps harvested... one of two such piles they've found ... it just made me cry ...

Fort Thomas considering deer contraceptive program to control population November 22, 2017 Kentucky, WXIX

... Around 10 years ago, the city introduced a bow and arrow deer hunting season to try to control the growing population but it hasn't been working, so now are considering a deer birth control program..

First Frost Halts Hemorrhagic Disease Outbreak In Deer November 7, 2017 Kentucky, LEX18 Lexington KY News

...  (EHD) is a viral disease transmitted to deer by biting flies or midges ... outbreaks cease at the first frost, which kills the bugs... documented 4,586 suspected EHD cases through phone calls and an online reporting system...

Kentucky officials urging motorists to watch out for deer October 30, 2017 WDRB

... ast year, police recorded nearly 3,100 collisions involving deer...

    Mating season and deer hunt increases collisions October 30, 2017

 ... A statement from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the fall harvest and mating season trigger an increase in deer movement which leads to more accidents. Engineer Wade Clements says more than half of all crashes involving deer occur from October through December....

A look back at a half century of wildlife management milestones in Kentucky October 20, 2017

... more than a century of subsistence hunting took its toll. By 1915 deer are absent from most of the state...  In 1999, deer restoration ended in March with the release of the final load of animals in Perry County ... After 52 years, 10,096 white-tailed deer had been trapped and re-located around the state, with the lineage of most of the deer stocked, tracing back to early 20th century remnant deer populations in Caldwell, Christian, Lyon, and Trigg Counties..,

EHD In Deer On Decline October 17, 2017 Kentucky, LEX18 Lexington KY News

... Epizootic hemorrhagic disease... was an epidemic this year in many Eastern Kentucky counties... impacted the population ..,

Changing deer patterns can result in the ritual 'October Lull' for hunters October 13, 2017 Kentucky,

... the 2017 Mast Survey results showed poor to good mast production across Kentucky. Of the white oak trees observed by biologists in the field, just 31 percent had acorns (poor), as opposed to 63 percent of the red oaks (good).., 

Deer Shooting Shakes Up Kentucky Neighborhood September 23, 2017 Kentucky,

LEX18 Lexington KY News

... a deer stumbled in her yard wounded by a bullet... a lot of small children in this neighborhood ... the wildlife is something he and most of his neighbors enjoy...

2017 Kentucky Deer Forecast September 20, 2017 Game & Fish

... The southeastern part of the state has lower deer numbers than most of the rest of the state ... Deer in this area are heavily dependent on hard mast, namely acorns, for forage...

Deer shot in the middle of a residential neighborhood near Indian Hills triggers outrage September 20, 2017 Kentucky, The Courier-Journal

... Louisville Metro Police are searching for the unknown hunter that shot a young, female deer Sunday evening ...

EHD outbreak update shows reports of dead, dying deer now in 72 counties September 20, 2017 Kentucky, User-generated content

... In the past month the number of reports of dead and/or dying deer received by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) has ballooned to 2,967..,

50 Knox County deer found dead September 10, 2017 Kentucky, The Mountain Advocate 

... the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), is currently effecting the white-tailed deer population in Kentucky...

The 2017-2018 Deer Season now open in Kentucky with start of archery season September 9, 2017 Kentucky, Herald-Dispatch

... We had a good acorn crop last fall and a mild winter followed by a wet spring and summer,” Jenkins said. “Everything went right this year for very high survival and reproduction.” ... Through Aug. 29, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife had documented more than 1,400 cases of deer suspected of having contracted EHD..,

Stench of deer dying from disease overwhelms some communities September 7, 2017 Kentucky,  WKYT

... a recent outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in Kentucky's whitetail deer population is one of the worst in a decade... killing thousands of deer ..,

Deer season arrives September 3, 2017 Kentucky,

... The herd estimate after the 2016-17 season showed a stable to slightly increasing trend across the state... A mild winter and favorable conditions during the fawning season were encouraging signs for the season ahead. ... a good acorn crop last fall and a mild winter followed by a wet spring and summer," ..,

Cooler temperatures make outlook for new deer season promising September 1, 2017 Kentucky,

... Statewide, anecdotal evidence suggests fawn reproduction was very good this spring.  “We had a good acorn crop last fall, and a wet spring,” said Jenkins. “It’s late summer and it’s still green.” ... deer herds in many of the northcentral Kentucky countie ... remain above target densities... contributing factors ... increases in agriculture and urbanization ..,

Recent EHD outbreak centered on Eastern Kentucky deer population August 25, 2017 Kentucky,

... “The epicenter was in Magoffin, Floyd and Pike counties,” ... This year’s outbreak is the fifth in the past 10 years in Kentucky, including outbreaks in 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2015. The 2007 outbreak was the worst ..,

Kentucky Launches Online Reporting for Hemorrhagic Deer Disease August 18, 2017

... The digital form is available at under the “Important Info” tab... Deer infected with EHD may appear lethargic and may not respond or run away when approached by people. Deer may exhibit excessive salivation, swelling around the face and neck, and their tongues may hang out...

Disease reported in Kentucky Deer August 10, 2017 WYMT News

... Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease has been reported in white-tailed deer in several Eastern Kentucky counties ..,

Wildlife officials warn of deadly deer disease, blue tongue August 1, 2017 Kentucky, WBIR-TV

... Blue tongue virus causes lethargy, weakness, swelling in the head area, and eventually, internal bleeding. Infected deer often go to water to try reduce their body temperature ...  counties hardest hit so far have been Magoffin, Floyd and Knott ..,

New bill could increase deer hunt July 15, 2017 Kentucky, WYMT News 

... Senate Bill 83 went into effect June 29th. It places new responsibilities on Fish and Wildlife Department officials to reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by deer and elk collisions...

SB 83 culling. June 22, 2017 Kentucky, Glasco Daily Times

... requires the state to identify areas where deer and elk pose a “significant threat” to human safety by causing automobile accidents or pose a significant threat to agriculture. The state may then take necessary steps (including, but not limited to, special hunts ...

Early Kentucky's era of exploitation awakened conservation movement June 21, 2017 User-generated content

... The first explorers found thundering herds of bison, majestic woodland elk, a white-tailed deer seemingly in every forest opening, and unimaginable numbers of bears... By 1847 naturalist and wildlife artist John James Audubon wrote that “there’s likely no elk left within 100 miles.”... 

State's 225th anniversary recalls Kentucky's early bountiful resources  June 14, 2017

... During the Archaic Period, 8000 to 1000 B.C., humans became established throughout the state ... Staple foods included white-tailed deer and hickory nuts, supplemented by small mammals, birds, seeds, fruits, and nuts..,

Trooper Gets Selfie With Deer April 19, 2017 Kentucky, LEX18 Lexington KY News

... responded to the call and noticed that children were petting the friendly animal... couldn't resist taking a selfie with the deer...  helped the animal find its way back into the woods ...

Wildlife officers escort deer out of Kentucky Walmart March 21, 2017

... was seen running in the pharmacy section ... able to safely release the uninjured deer back into the woods...

UK students survey Kentucky elk population from the sky March 10, 2017 WYMT News 

... From 1997 to 2002, elk were reintroduced to 16 counties in Kentucky...  "We think maybe 10,000 elk or more that are there...

Deer-Car Collision Bill Before the House March 7, 2017 Kentucky, WKMS

... Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Deputy Commissioner Karen Waldrop says there are areas with high numbers of deer and elk...

Kentucky's elk program a tourism victory, too February 11, 2017 The Courier-Journal-22 hours ago

... Elk were native to Kentucky ... around the mid-1800s, they disappeared, victims of habitat loss and unregulated hunting ... first stockings were in 1997. During the following six years, approximately 1,500 elk were transported from six western states and released. Today, Kentucky’s free-ranging, self-sustaining elk herd includes an estimated 11,500 to 12,000 animals..,

A quick review of Kentucky’s 2016-17 deer season January 25, 2017 Kentucky,

... Kentucky’s deer population continues to grow, but a slight decline in overall harvest was anticipated for the 2016-17 season.  For the past five seasons, deer harvests have been trending up and down, in a statistical range from a low of 131,395 during the 2012-13 season, to last season’s record high of 155,429... This past season 56.6 percent of the deer killed were antlered, and 43.4 percent were antlerless...

Kentucky deer hunters log big season January 24, 2017 Huntington Herald Dispatch

... Hunters combined to take more than 139,000 deer before the book closed Jan. 16 on one of the three best seasons on record in Kentucky. The only seasons with higher harvest totals were the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons ... Harvest totals in the northern Kentucky county have been on the upswing for several seasons ... 

Kentucky deer hunters close in on record January 14, 2017 The Courier-Journal

... Through Wednesday, 138,364 whitetails had been checked, the fourth all-time highest season kill... the third highest season mark (138,898 set in 2014) could easily be eclipsed ...

Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Commission modifies meeting agenda December 23, 2016 Ledger Independent

... The proposal to eliminate elk hunting during modern gun deer season has been removed from the agenda...

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposes new deer, elk hunting regulations for 2017-18 December 10, 2016

... the commission proposed dropping the number of elk permits from 910 to 710 for the 2017-18 elk seasons... Remove the one deer per day daily bag limit on all Kentucky Fish and Wildlife quota hunts...  Remove the 15-inch inside spread antler restriction for deer on all WMAs...

Ky. elk population focus of upcoming meeting December 10, 2016 Kentucky, The Courier-Journal

... Kentucky’s elk restoration program is the most successful of its kind in the country... started in 1997 with the establishment of a 16-county, 3.5-million-acre elk restoration zone and the release of seven animals. Stocking continued until 2002, by which time 1,550 elk had been moved to Eastern Kentucky from seven western states...

Landowners honored for improving wildlife December 9, 2016 Kentucky, Bowling Green Daily News

... The Habitat Improvement Program aims to improve wildlife habitat across Kentucky. Administered by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife since its inception in the late 1980s ... 

Hunters Risk Prosecution for Illegal Transportation of Deer/Elk Carcasses November 22, 2016 Kentucky,

... Hunters must not bring whole deer or elk carcasses from infected states [with chronic wasting disease] to taxidermists or processing operations in Kentucky... Since 2002, Kentucky has tested more than 26,000 deer and elk for the presence of the disease. All results have been negative...

Wildland Fires, Dry Conditions Create Hazards for Deer Hunters November 9, 2016 Kentucky, WMKY

... More than 300,000 Kentucky hunters preparing for this weekend’s modern gun deer season ... at least 22 wild land fires burning, many in southeast Kentucky, as drought conditions persist across the state...

Modern gun deer season on tap November 5, 2016 Kentucky,  Daily News

... The harvest is down through the first two months of the 2016-17 season ...  Hunter success has been affected by the unseasonably warm weather and windy conditions combined with the abundance of food ...

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Testing Deer for Disease November 1, 2016

... Wildlife officials in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio recently launched a joint monitoring effort for the disease [bovine tuberculosis] after an infected deer was discovered in southeastern Indiana ... will operate a check station in Boone County during the first two weekends of modern gun season ...

Big hunting weekend approaches October 30, 2016 Kentucky, The Courier-Journal

... more than 1 million whitetail deer are prowling Kentucky’s varied landscape ... state deer program coordinator Gabe Jenkins ... A strong acorn crop provides deer with plenty of food in the woods. They don’t need to move away from cover to find food ...

Early returns from 2016-17 deer season October 21, 2016 Kentucky, Ledger Independent

 ... The two-day take of 2,987 deer was down sharply from last year when hunters benefitted from the timely arrival of a cold snap and a less bountiful acorn crop... Results from this year’s mast survey are in and it’s a good year for red and white oak acorn production but poor for hickory and beech nuts...

Poachers caught spotlight hunting in Cumberland County October 17, 2016 Kentucky, WBKO

... Spotlight hunting is illegal because it can be very dangerous.  "People get kind of blinded. They see that big deer and they don't realize what's behind it ...

It's mid-October, so it must be time to talk about deer October 12, 2016 Kentucky,

... deer restoration in Kentucky took more than 50 years.  In March, 1999, deer restoration ended with the release of the final load of deer in Perry County. During deer restoration, 10,096 white-tailed deer were live-trapped and re-located around the state. The fall of 1999 was the first time all 120 counties were open to deer hunting...

Kentucky Deer Forecast for 2016 October 11, 2016 Game & Fish

... last season’s total was an 8 percent increase above the previous record and 12 percent higher than last season ... since the 2010-11 season, Kentucky deer harvest numbers have mostly been on an upward trend... 

Chronic wasting disease monitoring continues; now in five bordering states September 21, 2016 Kentucky, KY Forward

... Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has not been found in free-ranging deer or elk in Kentucky ...   the disease has been found in five of seven states that border Kentucky — Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia. ...   Researchers believe that CWD has been spread in North America by the transportation of infected deer or elk between captive herds, the escape of infected deer or elk from captive herd facilities ...

Whitetail deer numbers down at Land Between the Lakes September 10, 2016 Kentucky, The Courier-Journal

... Wildlife managers point to hunting pressure as the primary reason for the drop in deer numbers. To ease pressure and hopefully reduce the number of deer hunters who use the property, officials have decided that deer taken from the Kentucky portion of LBL will no longer be bonus deer, but will count against the statewide bag limit...

JWSRP to host Elk and Hunting Expo, tours September 8, 2016 Kentucky, Floyd County Times

...  Elk were introduced to Kentucky 20 years ago as part of a restoration project... Kentucky’s elk herd is estimated at more than 11,000 ... 

All signs indicate another record deer season for hunters in 2016-17 August 31, 2016 Kentucky,

... During the past five seasons, the number of deer taken with firearms has climbed steadily, from 83,363 during the 2011 season, to 109,179, in 2015... what’s driving the harvest is the recovery of herds in the central and western parts of the state that were reduced by outbreaks of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in 2007, 2010 and 2012...

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department asking deer, elk hunters to provide additional information August 23, 2016 KY Forward

... All harvested deer and elk must be reported to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources either by phone at 1-800-245-4263 or online telecheck at

Kentucky's 2016-17 Deer Season Preview August 14, 2016

... The latest herd estimate – derived from harvest and age structure data – pegged the statewide population at more than 820,000 after the 2015-16 hunting season and before fawning this spring... 

Public input sought on Kentucky's deer program August 12, 2016 Ledger Independent

     The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources encourages deer hunters to participate in a new online survey about deer hunting and management in Kentucky.

The survey is available here through Sept. 9... From the survey:  Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife is soliciting public input from deer hunters regarding their experiences and opinions about deer hunting and management in Kentucky.  Information gained from this online public input will be used to help guide planning for our deer hunting and management programs in the future...

Kentucky 2016-17 deer season looks promising August 11, 2016 The Lake News

... Hunters in Kentucky established a new benchmark last season by taking more than 155,000 deer. It was the third record harvest in the past four seasons ... A state believed to hold fewer than 1,000 white-tailed deer a century ago ... We’ve had a really wet spring and a wet summer so far with lots of food available. That just equals healthy deer ...

Kentucky tourism discussed at Rotary August 9, 2016 Ledger Independent

...  growing number of black bears (now 1,000), and elk (10,000) in the state, which along with a white tail deer population of 1 million, brings hunters to the state from across the country...

Pulaski a 'focus area' for wild hog control and eradication efforts August 6, 2016 Kentucky, Commonwealth Journal's History

... Wild hogs will completely wipe out an acorn crop, food for both deer and turkeys ... “Hunting is not a good method of control. It does more damage that good,” said Hasp. “Shooting just scatters them.” He suggests the best way to eradicate feral hogs is to corral and kill the animals...

An examination of preference and bonus point systems for the Kentucky elk quota hunt July, 2016

Demand greatly exceeds supply for Kentucky elk permits. In fact, KDFWR received

over 70,000 applications for 910 elk permits during the 2015 elk permit quota

drawing. Due to the difficult odds of drawing a permit, some applicants have

occasionally expressed interest in instituting a loyalty point system ...

Wildlife management area to expand July 24, 2016 Kentucky, Kentucky New Era

... added another large tract of land to its Big Rivers Wildlife Management Area in northern Crittenden County.  A deed was recorded last month, transferring 841.5 acres ...

Kentucky man frees deer from fence May 24, 2016 Local 8 Now

... Thanks to some help from volunteers at the Wolf Run Animal Sanctuary, Tate and the others were able to save the deer but not the fence...

LBL eliminating bonus option due to decrease in deer May 8, 2016 Kentucky, Kentucky New Era

...  outbreaks of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease commonly referred to as EHD, increased archery hunting pressure-especially on the Kentucky portion and a mature closed canopy forest. Forest and open land habitat must provide adequate forage and conditions for white-tailed deer...

Elk Foundation wrong about CWD in Ky. April 27, 2016 Kentucky, Beckley Register-Herald

...In Arkansas, CWD was found in elk. Elk were imported to the state in the 1980s from out west — including CWD-positive Colorado ... Kentucky may not be CWD-free at all — the disease simply may not have been found yet...

Deer declining at Land Between the Lakes April 16, 2016 Kentucky, The Courier-Journal

... Deer numbers are dwindling on the 40-mile-long, 10-mile-wide heavily timbered peninsula that separates Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake ... Suspected and known reasons for the decline ... include increased hunting pressure ... lingering effects from a severe outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in 2007 ... coyote predation is also taking an unknown number of LBL deer...

Kentucky data:  The state estimated the deer population before the hunt at 994,356 in the 2022 report.  In the report, the state revised their pre-hunt population estimate for 2021 to 1,049,217 from 919,308 as reported in the 2021 report.  Previous year populations were revised back to 1995.  Data for the chart below.

The number of deer taken in the 2023 hunt fell by 2.56 percent.  A mediocre acorn crop in 2022 that dropped two or three weeks earlier increased the deer hunt success rate as deer move around looking for food, which had a negative impact on the population.  Research presented in 2021 finds that deer populations are in danger in some areas of the state.  An increase in hunting licenses sold contributed to a higher deer kill in 2020.  A population of about 1,130,000 in 2020.

Severe drought through September and a poor mast crops restricted populations somewhat in 2019 although the deer harvest increased as deer were moving around looking for food.  A population of about 1,250,000 in 2019. 

Much of the increase in the 2018 deer harvest was a result of increased hunting.  A wet winter and good forage available in July and August of 2018 resulted in high survival and so the state has significantly liberalized hunting regulations in response to increased reproduction, increasing the deer harvest.   A population of about 1,270,000 in 2018.

A strong acorn crop in 2016 and a wet spring in 2017 indicated a stable to slightly increasing population.   The 2017 mast survey was poor to good. The 2017 EHD outbreak reduced herds in some regions, mostly in the east.   The 2017 harvest data indicates a slight population decline.  Low populations in the southeast even after a decade of restrictive doe harvest and translocation of deer to increase the population.  Populations of about 1,300,000 in 2017 and 1,320,000 in 2016.

A wet spring and summer in 2016 provided lots of food for deer.  Two harsh winters in 2012-13 and 2013-14 were offset somewhat by good mast production.  Rain in the 2015 summer increased deer forage, but poor white acorn production.  Herds had rebounded from an Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) outbreak in 2012, 2010 and a severe outbreak in 2007.  Scattered outbreaks in 2015.  

The record peak deer population for recent times was in 2015 with about 1,375,000 whitetails.  It was also the record deer kill from the hunt with 155,730 taken.  For 2015, deer populations in Hopkins, Larue, Green, Nelson and Bullitt counties exceeded targets so more antlerless deer were to be harvested.  In 2015, 70 deer per square mile prior to hunt in Owen county.

Fawn production was average in 2014 despite a cold winter. The acorn crop was modest, but farmers increased acres of corn and soybeans. About 300,000 deer permits were sold in 2014.  Hunter success rate of about 34 percent.  Hunters took 138,898 deer.   A record of 144,409 taken in the 2013-14 season.  Hunter numbers had been around 270,000 for the past 20 years.  About 1,300,000 deer in 2014.

The state deer population was on a general upward trend from 1995 with about 525,000 deer to the peak of 1,375,000 in 2015.  A declining population in parts of southeastern Kentucky. 

 The state manages toward achieving balanced herd demographics, bucks were about 54 percent of the 2013 harvest.   Management goals were: Zone 1, herd reduction; Zone 2, keep herds at present population levels; Zone 3, slow herd growth; and Zone 4, maximum herd growth.  

A population estimate of 900,000 in 2009, the revised estimate for the year is 1,040,000.  A 1998 estimate of 450,000, the revised state estimate for the year is 660,000. A population estimate of 425,000 deer in 1990.

Chronic Wasting Disease  The first case of chronic wasting was reported in December, 2023, a 2 ½-year-old male white-tailed deer that was harvested by a hunter in Ballard County in November.  After 20 years of testing, no chronic wasting had been found in Kentucky as of spring, 2022 and into fall, 2023 with 40,000 deer and 1,000 elk tested.

History  Deer were an important stable for the first humans to enter Kentucky, 8,000 to 10,00 years ago.  The deer herd was hunted to near extinction in the early 1900's.  By 1915 only a few deer remained in western Kentucky.  Conservation efforts began to restore the deer. with about thousand by the early  1940's.  By the late 1960's and early 70's the herd was estimated at about 35,000 but growing very slowly, in part due to over harvest.   By 1979 the total deer harvest was about 9,000.  With  better management the herd grew from about 64,000 in 1978 to a 149,000 in 1981.  

A state population model gave an estimate of 206,557 deer in 1986.  Then 350,000 in 1988.  About 460,000 in 1989, 610,000 by 1999. The state was stocking deer to increase the population from 1947 to 1999, the first year all counties were open to hunting.  Over 52 years 10,096 white-tailed deer had been relocated around the state, most coming from remnant deer populations in Caldwell, Christian, Lyon, and Trigg Counties.  Herd population stabilized in the early 2000's.  In 2004, the limit on antlerless deer was lifted for Zone 1. 

Population Estimates:  2,000 in 1940, 65,000 in 1968.

Elk are native to Kentucky, but they were gone by the mid 1800's as a result of unregulated hunting and habitat loss.  Restocking began in 1997 with elk from Kansas.  Over five years 1,547 were released.  The elk came from western states such as Utah.  An estimated population of 11,500 to 12,000 by 2017-18, the largest herd in the eastern states.  About 13,100 by 2018-19, over 14,000 in 2020.  About 16,000 in 2021.  An estimate of over 11,000 in 2024.

A Mountain Lion killed in Bourbon County at the end of 2014 was the first confirmed siting since before the Civil War.  Lions were once native.

Bear population has grown to about 1,000 by 2016.

Report sick deer to 1-800-858-1549 or  email reports to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at