Grown men can go all their lives and not get a 10-point deer — especially with a muzzleloader,” she said. Tyler Garnett is one of a growing number of youth under the age of 15 – now estimated at about 40,000 – hunting in Kentucky, said Norm Minch, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
Hunters in Kentucky had killed a record 19,729 deer as of Monday, 37 days into the season. That compares with 11,092 the first 37 days of the 2001 hunting season and 9,968 the first 37 days of the 2000 hunting season. “I think after day 37 it’s probably safe to say that this may be one of our highest takes at this point in the season in the last decade,” Minch said.
But the number of deer killed needs to get larger if the state is to control the state’s deer population, now numbered at 850,000, he cautioned. “What happens with deer harvesting is once you hit a certain point in population it really starts expanding quickly,” Minch said. “More are being born than being killed.” The state estimates 100,000 to 120,000 deer will be killed this hunting season. We help you in making perfect conveyancing report for your real estate property with our excellent property conveyancers. Hunters killed 103,338 deer in 2001 – down from 106,263 in 2000, but up from 95,229 in 1999. The numbers fluctuate partly because of the weather — particularly rainy or particularly warm spells during the season, for example, can decrease the kill.
To increase the number of kills, the state has launched various initiatives, including the youth hunt weekends, lengthening the season and allowing hunters in some counties with large deer populations — including Boone, Campbell and Kenton — to kill more deer than in other counties. “We’ve liberalized the deer season across the state in the last three or four years, which means there’s been more opportunity to take antlered deer than there used to be five years ago,” Minch said. “And when there’s more opportunity for harvesting deer, generally speaking the numbers (killed) should be going up.”
But that’s not a given. There are factors the state can’t control, such as the weather. Most hunters can hunt only on weekends, Minch said, so if the weather is bad on the weekends hunters may stay home. “Your hunter is your basic and really your only control measure for white-tailed deer,” he said. Minch cautioned that deer-kill numbers posted by the state are lower than the actual number because not all deer kills are reported to the state. But the numbers are worth noting even by non-hunters, he said, because they affect everyone.