Kentucky archers bagged a record number of deer and had better than a 50 percent success rate during the new 14-day early bull elk season.
A total of 4,947 deer were checked in for the month of September, the first 28 days of archery season, surpassing the record harvest of 4,407 taken last year.
The sex ratio of deer harvested was 34.0 percent bucks and 66.0 percent female deer (does).
“It’s encouraging that our archery hunters were so successful and took such a high percentage of does, especially in the Zone 1 counties, where we are trying to reduce the herds,” said Tina Brunjes, deer and elk program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “The percentage of does in the harvest was as high as 70 percent in some counties.”
Last season Kentucky bow hunters checked in a record 16,650 deer, including record harvests for the months at the beginning and end of the season. In the last decade, the archery deer harvest has been steadily climbing, up about 33 percent since the 2000-01 season, when archers checked in 12,478 deer.
The 2011-12 Kentucky archery season for deer is 136 days long. It opened Sept. 3 and continues through Jan. 16, 2012.
The hunter success rate for the new 14-day archery bull elk season was higher than anticipated.
“I would have never predicted that the success rate would be above 50 percent,” said Brunjes. “Unseasonably cool weather and a poor crop of white oak acorns across the region may have been contributing factors to the excellent success rate for archers.”
Eighty permits were awarded to archers for the new bull elk season which began Sept. 17 and ended last Friday, Sept. 30.