The firearms Youth-Only season in Kentucky could not have much better timing. This season for deer runs from October 9-10. Conditions are favorable, according to Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources deer biologist Kristina Brunjes. “It’s not too cold, and it’s the first firearms season of the year, so deer are relaxed. They haven’t been gun hunted and they’re in an early fall feeding pattern,” she stated.
Since 1996, this season has been held to expose residents and non-residents 15 years old and younger to deer hunting. The timing of the season is designed to provide a maximum chance of success. An adult at least 18 years old must accompany the youths. The adult is not required to have a valid Kentucky deer permit or hunting license if he or she will not be hunting. Those adults who will hunt with youths may only use archery equipment.
The youths make take deer or either sex but must adhere to zone restrictions, bag limits, and other applicable deer hunting regulations. Children between 12 and 15 years old must have a valid deer permit, hunting license, and a hunter education card, unless they are license exempt. Harvested deer must be Telechecked using the youth hunter’s Social Security number.
During this two-day hunting season in 2009, youths bagged 4,024 deer. In 2008, they took only 2,266. Ms. Brunjes reports, “Over the last five years, the harvest has averaged 3,747 deer.” She commented that a season can be wiped out by severe weather.
During early October, deer tend to feed on acorns within the woods. They attempt to eat all the forage they can find. Since August and September were so dry in Kentucky, forage was largely unavailable. Deer will be lingering near woodland water sources because small creeks dried up during the drought conditions.
Source: Lander, Jr., Art. The Amplifier. Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Youth deer hunting season opens this weekend.