The Bluegrass State is known for many things, bourbon and horse racing come to mind, along with being a top producer of trophy whitetail bucks is one of them. As a good friend of the 1st Rut family says, this is “God’s Country”. Deer were extinct in Kentucky around 100 years ago, and now the herd is a million strong. If you are looking for a great whitetail hunt, look no further than Kentucky. Kentucky is the 4th state covered in 1st Rut’s Deer Season Overview series. Indiana, Ohio, and Missuri can be found at the hyperlinks. If you are looking for an out of state hunt, take the plunge.
Kentucky has a statewide permit that allows for four deer to be harvested, only one of which can be antlered. This statewide permit applies to every zone, but individual zones will have specific bag limits. The rules that apply to antlerless deer are split into four zones.
Kentucky is split into 4 zones, as you can see in the image. The details for each zone will follow.
In Zone 1, hunters can take an unlimited number of antlerless deer, provided they buy additional deer permits after their first four deer are harvested. In Zone 2, hunters can take no more than four deer. Zone 3 allows 4 deer as well, but states that hunters may not use a firearm to take more than one antlerless whitetail. Zone 4 allows two deer to be taken, only one of which can be antlered, and one of which can be antlerless. In Zone 4, antlerless deer cannot be harvested during the modern gun season, early muzzleloader season, or the first six days of the late muzzleloader season. The deer management zones are not split into easy to identify geographical locations, so make sure you thoroughly check what zone(s) you will be in before you hunt.
Season Dates are covered for Kentucky’s Deer Season in the image.
Kentucky allows deer hunters to use any kind of modern gun, including air guns of .35 caliber or larger. The rifle or pistol magazine may not be capable of holding more than 10 rounds and shotguns are only allowed to shoot slugs. Be sure to check individual zones for their gun and archery requirements, as these are always subject to change.
Kentucky has a well earned growing reputation for producing record book whitetail deer. In the 2002-2003 deer Kentucky deer season, Ben Brogle took a monster non-typical whitetail tallying a total of 260 1/8 inches. That is a monster non-typical from the State of Kentucky.
Kentucky is the fourth state we have covered in this series. Stay tuned as will post a new state every couple of days. If you are planning an out of state hunt, it would be wise to have a backup plan this year. We don’t know today how the states will react to another outbreak in the current pandemic. Many states closed public lands and prevented out of state hunters from entering for spring hunting seasons. There are many options to hunt deer in this great country we call home. Take the challenge and hunt deer in new territory this fall. Please read and understand each states regulation prior to hunting this fall. If you are looking to increase your knowledge of whitetail deer and how to hunt them, the 1st Rut Whitetail 101 content is for you.