Kentucky Deer Season 2024-2025: Everything You Need To Know

In Kentucky, deer hunting is a well-liked activity, and hundreds of hunters anxiously anticipate the beginning each year. The state offers fantastic chances to harvest a whitetail buck or doe. This thorough guide offers crucial dates, rules, and other crucial details for organizing a successful hunt.

Kentucky Deer Hunting Dates

Throughout the fall and winter, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) oversees a number of pursuing seasons.

ArcherySept 7, 2024 – Jan 20, 2025
MuzzleloaderOct 19 – 20, 2024
 Dec 14 – 22, 2024
Modern GunNov 9 – 24, 2024
Free Youth WeekendDec 28 – 29, 2024
YouthSept 21, 2024 – Jan 20, 2025
Youth-only GunOct 12 – 13, 2024
Senior CrossbowSept 21, 2024 – Jan 20, 2025

The archery season, which lasts for about 5 months, is the longest season. During this period, crossbows are also authorized. Because any legal weapon is permitted, the current gun season is well-liked. A more basic hunting experience is provided during muzzleloader season.

KY Elk Season

Archery & CrossbowSep 14 – Sep 27, 2024Either Sex
Early SeasonDec 7 – Dec 13, 2024
FirearmSep 28 – Oct 2, 2024Bull (Antlered)
Bull Hunt 1Oct 5 – Oct 9, 2024
Bull Hunt 2Nov 30 – Dec 4, 2024Cow (Antlerless)
Cow Hunt 1Dec 28, 2024 – Jan 1, 2025

KY Deer Bag Limits

11 statewideUnlimited with statewide permit and additional permits
2Up to 4
3Up to 4, but only 1 antlerless with firearm or air gun
4Up to 2, with only 1 antlerless allowed

After taking, hunters will need to get more tags before continuing to hunt. To be legal, checking deer via Telecheck as soon as possible is essential.

Deer Regulations

In Kentucky, hunters must follow specific rules in order to legally collect game. Important rules include:

  • Hunter Orange: During contemporary gun and muzzleloader seasons, all hunters are required to wear hunter orange attire. If archery hunting is done on the same days, the same rules apply.
  • Licensing: Hunting licenses are required for all hunters, unless they qualify for a license exemption. There may be a need for additional deer licences.
  • Antler Restrictions: Bucks taken during the current gun season must have a minimum of four antler points on one side or a 15-inch inner spread. Both the muzzleloader and archery seasons have no antler limitations.
  • Telecheck: Within 24 hours after harvest, hunters are required to Telecheck any deer. The hunter’s tag must have the confirmation number.
  • Land Access: Hunting on private property requires permission. There are limitations on certain public lands.
  • Legal Methods:  Archery equipment, crossbows, weapons, and muzzleloaders that comply with requirements. Electronic calls are not allowed.

Hunting Licenses

Residents of Kentucky must have a current hunting license and all other permits in order. Additional licensing requirements apply to non-residents.

Resident Licenses and Permits

  • Annual hunting license – $20
  • Deer permit – $30
  • Youth license (15 and under) – $5

Nonresident Licenses and Permits

  • Nonresident annual hunting license – $140
  • Deer permit – $120
  • Youth license – $10

Purchases of licenses may be made either online via the KDFWR website or through authorized representatives such sports goods retailers. If bag limitations are surpassed, permits for extra deer may also be acquired. Additional permits are required for Land Between the Lakes.

Where To Hunt Deer in Kentucky

  • Public land – The KDFWR manages 1.5 million acres of public property, which is very accessible. It is also possible in the Land Between the Lakes and Daniel Boone National Forest.
  • Private property – permission is needed. Kentucky has a 93% private ownership rate. The Hunter Access Program of KDFWR offers leased hunting privileges.
  • Urban archery – Under special deer management plans, archery hunting is permitted in Floyd and Henderson counties, among other urban locations.

Scouting early is essential since there is greater hunting demand on public areas. Access to private property might increase your chances. Hunters should look at all of their choices.


What are the new changes to deer hunting regulations for 2024-2025?

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has made a few adjustments to the hunting laws. An important change is the extension of the crossbow and archery season to January 20, 2025. In the past, it shut down on January 2. The number of deer that may be taken during a contemporary gun season is similarly limited to 4, with only one antlered buck being permitted. Before the season begins, hunters should examine any regulatory revisions.

How can I find out which counties in Kentucky have the most hunter success for deer?

Each year, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources gathers harvest information that may be used to pinpoint counties with high rates of hunter success. Pike, Floyd, Clay, Jackson, Owen, and Gallatin counties have routinely had large harvests based on previous seasons. For information on which counties provide advantageous possibilities, prospective hunters may get in touch with KDFWR scientists.

Where are the best public lands to deer hunt in Kentucky for someone new to the state?

More than a million acres of public property in Kentucky are available for decent deer shooting by non-residents. The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Daniel Boone National Forest, Lake Barkley WMA, and wildlife management areas along significant river systems like the Green River are among the recommended locations. Finding a local hunter may help you choose the finest public land location.

How can I find out if there are any special urban archery seasons in my area?

Localized urban archery shooting seasons are permitted by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to control deer numbers in certain regions. For information about prospective urban archery seasons close to large cities like Louisville, Lexington, Covington, and Newport, hunters may get in touch with their county’s game warden. These particular seasons call for extra permits.

What are the rules for hunting over bait?

Using bait is not allowed in the state. Food, salt, minerals, and other ingredients are used as bait to attract deer. Within 50 yards of bait, hunting is prohibited.

When is the rut season in Kentucky?

In the majority of Kentucky, the “rut” or peak breeding season starts about mid-November. Rutting activity often begins in October and lasts until December.

What is the check-in process for harvested deer?

Within 24 hours, every harvest must be Telechecked. A confirmation number will be given to hunters to write on their deer tag. Until it is prepared for taxidermy, it must be kept whole and with its head attached.

Can I bring deer back home from another state?

No, importing complete carcasses or specific components from any state affected by chronic wasting disease is prohibited. With the appropriate paperwork, deboned flesh, antlers, cleaned skull caps, and completed taxidermy mounts may be imported into Kentucky.

What weapons are allowed during modern gun season?

Shotguns, muzzleloaders, and rifles with a caliber of at least.243 are all acceptable weapons during the current hunting season. Air weapons and handguns are not allowed. A magazine may hold a maximum of 10 rounds.

James Ellis

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