Cold air poured into Kentucky over the past weekend and dropped overnight low temperatures below freezing across much of the state.
The cool down didnít cool off the deer hunting. Itís been hot since early September.
Among the highlights: archery hunters established a new monthly harvest record by taking 6,650 deer in September; a record 5,558 deer were telechecked during the statewide youth firearms weekend earlier this month; and the harvest of 8,262 deer during the October muzzleloader weekend was the second highest on record.
By Monday morning, hunters had reported taking more than 24,000 deer.
The early crossbow and early muzzleloader deer seasons ended this past Sunday, but archery deer season remains open, and the modern gun deer season is less than a month away. Last year, hunters posted Kentuckyís second highest harvest total on record with modern gun season accounting for 74 percent of the 138,899 deer taken overall.
The 2013-14 harvest of 144,409 deer stands as the record. As was the case that season, there are fewer acorns this year. The statewide mast survey rates white oak acorn production as poor with 26 percent of white oak trees bearing mast while acorn production from red oaks rates average.
With fewer acorns available, deer must search harder to find food. The edges of cultivated fields will be but one place to focus.
The peak of the fall breeding period generally occurs in mid November. Due to calendar shift, Kentuckyís modern gun deer season opens as late as it can this year. By regulation, it starts on the second Saturday in November and runs for 16 consecutive days in Zones 1 and 2 and for 10 consecutive days in Zones 3 and 4. This year, the statewide modern gun season opens Nov. 14. Crossbow season reopens the same day while the nine-day late muzzleloader season comes in Dec. 12.<< Return to PreviousIf you copy this article to a blog or forum, please leave the identification of the source (wkym.com) in the text.