It’s that time of year. The time when you can see it in their eyes…the rut is on! I’m not talking about the bucks, I’m talking more about the hunters as they prepare for what they’ve been waiting for all year long.
The gun portion of Kentucky’s deer season starts Saturday, November 9th and will run through November 24th.
As of Monday, 124 had been checked in for Clay County, according to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. 63 bucks and 61 doe equal the total with 55 killed by archery, 23 by firearm, 19 by muzzleloader and 27 with a crossbow.
KDFW game warden Chris Meadows says he is expecting this to be a good harvest year for Clay County.
“We had 657 checked in last year which was up from the 514 killed the previous year,” he said. “In 2017 we had a large number of deer die from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in eastern Kentucky. Clay County was hit hard, but I expect we may top 750 to 800 this year.”
Meadows credits the upwards harvest number due to a good mast crop production and favorable weather conditions in the summer and spring.
“I’ve not seen any signs of disease and we have a nice mast crop harvest,” he said. “I look for our numbers to increase.”
Meadows reminds hunters they must have a valid hunting license and deer permit.
“As always I want to remind everyone to practice hunter safety and wear the required orange hat and vest,” he said. “All deer must be checked in through the telecheck system at 1-800-245-4263. Clay County’s code is 026.”
Clay County has harvested some big deer in recent years. Elk Creek resident Kenneth Hoskins killed the state’s 15thlargest Boone & Crockett typical last year measuring at 166 1/8 during modern gun season.
Red Bird WMA will also be open for gun hunting this year for the first three days of the season only. It will remain open for archery/crossbow during the regular hunting season. Clay County’s other WMA, Burchell-Beech Creek, will be open under regular hunting season as applicable.
Deer Harvest Numbers
Clay County since Telecheck
Started in 1999.