Hunting is a way of life in the United States, and we are here to help you be as successful on the hunt as possible.
Many hunters enjoy taking part in harvesting mature deer during Kentucky deer hunting season. Below are some guidelines and recommendations to take into account when planning your hunt.
Before the Hunt
Before you set out to take part in the sport, you must be properly licensed. All deer hunters must buy and carry a deer hunting license, unless exempt by certain circumstances. This license will allow you to harvest two deer. You may harvest either two anterless deer or one antlered and one anterless deer during the hunting season. You also have the opportunity to purchase an additional anterless permit to harvest another two anterless deer under your license. The state of Kentucky has a limit of one antlered deer per hunter, per season.
You may use a variety of weapons at specific times during Kentucky deer hunting season. Depending on the zone and time of the year, you can harvest deer with firearms (rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader) or primitive weapons (archery equipment, including a crossbow).
Hunting seasons in Kentucky vary depending on the type of weapon you choose to use. The hunting season runs from early October through mid January. Archery season starts first, followed by crossbow and muzzleloader season. Modern gun season follows at the height of the rut, and the overall hunting season ends with additional archery season.
Species of Deer
Kentucky has an abundance of white tail deer that can be harvested during specific times of year, depending on which zone you are hunting within. White tail dear can be found statewide in wooded areas that are adjacent to open fields or fresh water sources.
Wildlife Management Areas
Kentucky deer hunting season extends to the state’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s). These properties have been designated by the state for public hunting. Over 80 different WMA’s are accessible throughout the state during quota hunts, which are offered to the public to help maintain a healthy population of deer.
Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry
If you choose not to consume your harvest, Kentucky offers an opportunity for hunters to donate their properly cleaned wild game to various programs to feed the hungry. Your deer can be dropped off at an approved processor who will prepare the meat for distribution to the community.
Kentucky has many opportunities for hunters to enjoy their sport, including two separate youth hunts for children. These hunts give adults the opportunity to expose the next generation of hunters to the thrill of the sport. The first youth hunt occurs in October and allows youth to harvest game using any statewide legal method. The second youth hunt happens in late December to early January and gives both resident and non-resident youth the chance to harvest a deer. No permit is required for the second youth hunt.
Kentucky deer hunting season has much to offer both the seasoned hunter and the new sportsman. With patience and skill, hunters can bring home both trophy bucks and fresh game for their entire family to enjoy.