Modern Gun Deer Season Opens on November 9th

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More than 250,000 hunters are expected to take to the field during the upcoming Kentucky modern gun deer season which opens statewide on Saturday, November 9. Deer hunters will generate about $350 million to the state's economy while enjoying this recreational opportunity and helping to manage this valuable natural resource.

Depending on the county, the modern gun season runs for 10 to 16 consecutive days. Officials with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) estimate the state?s deer herd to be between 800,000 and one million animals. Most hunters should have little trouble locating a deer to harvest during the season.

"We have the potential for a record-breaking harvest season, and hope hunters will take advantage of the bounty available to them," said Jonathan Day, KDFWR's deer program coordinator.

"We encourage hunters to continue helping us manage our herd by taking as many does as they can find use for, letting the younger bucks go if they want to start seeing bigger bucks, and by remembering safety first at all times while in the field," said Day.

"Perhaps the most important thing a deer hunter can do to help us keep the quality of our deer hunting high is to call and check-in their deer. It takes about five minutes, it's free and you can do it from any phone, anywhere, 24-hours a day," Day added.

There aren't many new regulations this season, but there is a new system in place for recording a harvested animal. Hunters are required to write down some harvest information either on the back of their deer permit or another piece of paper immediately after they find their deer and before it is moved elsewhere.

Hunters will notice a series of blanks on the back of every paper permit or hunting license bought from an usual outlet such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Dick's Sporting Goods, or county clerk's office for example. The "hunter's log" as it is called, which can be used to record the harvest of a deer or turkey, must be filled in to show the species, date, county and sex of the animal taken after it is found. The final blank must indicate the hunter's check-in confirmation number that proves he or she has called and reported his or her harvest of the animal. This blank should be filled in after you call and check in your deer.

A completed hunter's log for each deer taken must be kept in the hunter's possession anytime the hunter is in the field hunting deer. Harvested deer must be called in to the toll-free telecheck number (800) or (877) 245-4263 by midnight of the day the animal is recovered, and written in on the hunter's log. Hunters not required to have a deer permit must simply record this same information on a piece of paper and keep it on their person while hunting. All deer taken in Kentucky must be recorded and checked in.

Hunters should understand that although the "hunter's log" blanks are pre-printed on the back of every paper license or permit, if you're required to have a deer permit, you must be able to show proof that you bought a deer permit. Just because you buy the "base" hunting license, and it happens to have a place to record your deer harvest on the back doesn't mean you don't need a deer permit anymore. If you purchase your hunting license and deer permit at different times, as many hunters do, you must be sure to have a piece of license paper with you that indicates purchase of the deer permit on the front of the paper.

One other change in deer laws this season removes the requirement of placing a carcass tag on harvested deer if the carcass never leaves the hunter's possession. Only if the carcass is left with another person, does a tag need to be made by the hunter and attached to the deer that identifies to whom the deer belongs. Carcass tags, when required, must include three things: Name and phone number of the hunter who took the deer, and the telecheck confirmation number for that deer. Meat processors and taxidermists will not accept deer without a tag that includes this information. Hunters should not transport harvested deer for other hunters not in the same vehicle at the time unless a carcass tag has been completed and attached to the animal first.

It is very, very important that deer hunters recognize that they should not use their hunter harvest log as a carcass tag. Those who do will have lost not only their harvest information, which they are required to keep with them all season, but their permit or license or both will be gone as well. If you have to put a tag on your deer, use another piece of paper, not the log and license/permit.