A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky hunters post another big harvest as deer season comes to close

Kentucky’s 2019-20 hunting season for white-tailed deer ended Monday and hunters posted another big harvest, inching closer to the all-time record. Last season’s deer harvest of 145,753 was the second-highest ever, but that number was surpassed this season. Hunters reported taking 148,356 deer, 53 percent antlered and 47 percent antlerless, according to harvest data posted on the Kentucky Department...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: News and observations as Kentucky’s white-tailed deer season set to begin

Kentucky’s 2019-20 hunting season for white-tailed deer opens tomorrow, with the beginning of archery hunting, a 136-day season that continues through Monday, January 20, 2020. Below are some news and observations about our most popular big game animal. • Deer numbers in the U.S. have grown since the 1930s when the population had dropped to an all-time low estimate of 300,000. • In the past...

Hemorrhagic disease confirmed in Graves County; deer disease not transmittable to humans

A white-tailed deer from Western Kentucky is the state’s first confirmed case of hemorrhagic disease this year. Murray State University’s Breathitt Veterinary Center recently confirmed to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources that a deceased female deer recovered from Graves County tested positive for hemorrhagic disease, sometimes referred to as “blue tongue” or EHD. Kentucky...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Ky’s 2019-2020 white-tailed deer season opens Sept. 7, here’s what to expect

(Graphic from KDFWR) (Click for larger image) Kentucky’s 2019-20 hunting season for white-tailed deer opens in two weeks, with the beginning of archery hunting on Saturday, September 7. The 136-day archery season continues through Monday, January 20, 2020. Archers are keeping their fingers crossed for cooler weather in the early season. It’s been a hot and dry July and August. According to the...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A preview of Kentucky’s fall hunting seasons; update on tick activity across state

It’s summer, it’s hot, but Kentucky’s calendar of fall hunting seasons begins next week. Here are some details and observations: • Squirrel season, a 195-day split season opens August 17 and continues through February 29. The daily bag limit is six squirrels. Kentucky is heavily forested with hardwood trees and that means squirrels are abundant. Populations are stable but fluctuate slightly...

Public forums on deadly chronic wasting disease scheduled in Perry, Grant and Franklin counties

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has finalized details for three additional public forums about an increasingly widespread and fatal brain disease that infects members of the deer family. “Chronic wasting disease has not been detected in Kentucky but it’s on our doorstep,” said Chris Garland, acting Wildlife Division director for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We’re hosting...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: For deer hunters across Kentucky ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’

The lyrics are from a Christmas song made famous by Andy Williams in 1963. But, for Kentucky deer hunters, November is “the most wonderful time of the year.” When the calendar flips, the interaction between does and bucks begins to heat up as the days get shorter, and the nights cooler. The timing of the rut, the white-tailed deer’s annual mating season, is the question every deer hunter wants...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: White-tailed deer rut full of emotion and romance — best time to hunt deer

Coming soon to a woods near you — the rut — the white-tailed deer’s annual mating season. It doesn’t play out on the silver screen, but the story that unfolds is filled with emotion, ritual, and romance, like some award-winning movie. Halloween is the unofficial kick off of the deer rut in Kentucky, and if the weather cooperates (not warm and windy), deer will be on their feet during...

State testing deer for disease monitoring program after bovine tuberculosis found in Indiana

Kentucky is participating in a three-state effort to test white-tailed deer for the presence of bovine tuberculosis. While bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that primarily affects cattle, it also can infect deer. The disease has not been detected in Kentucky’s deer herd. Wildlife officials in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio recently launched a joint monitoring effort for the disease after...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Chronic wasting disease monitoring continues; now in five bordering states

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has not been found in free-ranging deer or elk in Kentucky, but the fatal, neurological disease that affects members of the deer family (cervids), has been confirmed in 12 more states in the U.S. in the last decade. CWD was first found in North America in mule deer at a research facility in Northern Colorado in 1967, and has spread to free-ranging and captive populations...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The white-tailed deer in Kentucky and the return of a native species

First of a two-part series on white-tailed deer in Kentucky — pre-settlement, remnant deer herds, deer hunting prohibited and early restoration efforts. These are arguably the “good old days” of deer hunting in Kentucky. The 2015-16 season ended Monday with an all-time record harvest of more than 155,295 deer. Thanks to decades of wise and careful management by the Kentucky Department of...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: White-tailed deer aplenty as summer progresses in Kentucky

The gestation period for white-tailed deer is about 180 to 200 days. (Photo by Art Lander Jr.)   As summer progresses white-tailed deer become more visible across suburban and rural Kentucky. By July, does have given birth to fawns and bucks are growing antlers.   Summer is the season of plenty, and early and late in the day deer gorge themselves on lush greenery.   Deer will eat hundreds...