Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Hunters post fifth-highest deer harvest on record

FRANKFORT, KY (KFA) – Looking at the total number of deer harvested by hunters in Kentucky during the 2017-18 season, it would appear nothing was out of the ordinary.

The season ended earlier this month. When it did, hunters had combined to take more than 136,000 deer across the state, making it the sixth consecutive season with a harvest total greater than 130,000 and the fifth highest total on record in Kentucky.

The figure could have climbed higher but for a significant outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) that hit deer populations in parts of east Kentucky particularly hard followed by a historic cold snap late in the season that likely deterred some hunters.

Indeed, harvest totals were up in the Bluegrass, Green River and Purchase regions compared to the 2016-17 season. Hunters in the Bluegrass Region reported taking more than 42,500 deer, but it was a county in the Purchase Region that led the state.

With 3,451 deer reported taken, Crittenden County edged Hardin County for the top spot. Pendleton, Christian and Owen counties rounded out the top five.