Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources report that hunters have taken more than 100,000 deer in the state so far this year, with a majority of the harvest occurring during the recently completed modern gun season. The number of deer taken by hunters during the opening weekend of modern gun season was down about 400 animals from the average of the previous three seasons.
Harvest for the month of November, most of which comes from hunters during the modern gun season, was down about 5,000 deer from the state’s 3-year average. The decline, however, is a normal fluctuation that deer managers have seen for years.
Kentucky’s deer herd may have reached its carrying capacity, or the number of deer that the existing habitat can support. The state’s total deer population peaked in 2004 and then began to decline. It now stands at around one million animals.
In addition to lower harvest numbers overall, about 60 percent of the deer taken so far this year have been male. While bucks usually represent a larger proportion of harvest than female deer at this point in the season, a 60-40 split between bucks and does is a larger difference than usual.
Having a large number of deer living in the woods near my house in Fort Thomas, I don’t see a decline in the number of deer this year. Moreover, we have many more
female than male deer in our local population.
The picture of the baby fawn is from my backyard. The doe had twins and raised both to be full grown. They are happily eating all of the plants and bird seed in my yard without fear of being shot by an arrow in the City of Fort Thomas.