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  Kentucky Deer Hunting

State DNR Office   - Hunting Regs -  Federal Information

Do's and Don't During Deer Season

Press Release
November 18, 2004

Contact:  Lee McClellan 

Frankfort, KY (November 18, 2004) - Even for veteran hunters, sometimes the laws governing deer season can be a little fuzzy.

Often we hear conversation of other hunters, or rely on hunting friends to know what?s legal and what?s not legal, but we really haven?t investigated the laws ourselves. In some cases, that can lead to trouble. It is every individual hunter?s responsibility to be familiar with the laws. They change. Going on what someone says isn?t the best source of information. And should you make a mistake, the questioning wildlife officer likely won?t buy "but my buddy said it was OK?."

One common misunderstanding among hunters is that he or she can take a deer for someone else, as long as the other person calls and checks the animal in. In no case, can a hunter harvest a deer and not claim that animal as his or her own. The hunter who takes the deer has to record the deer on his hunter harvest log (on back of the license) and report the harvest. Hunters who take deer for other people often creates another violation for themselves, too, probably without realizing it.

In a county where there is a specific season bag limit, taking deer for someone can result in exceeding the bag limit. For example, those who hunt on private land in Kentucky are restricted to one antlered deer per season. You cannot take a buck, and get another person to claim it, and then return to the field and take another antlered deer. You will have violated the law twice. It is not legal for an individual to take more than what the bag limits allow, or neglect to claim deer he or she takes.

It is not illegal to give a harvested deer to someone else, but the person who kills the deer has to claim and check in the deer. When a limit is reached, that ? well, is the limit. It means no more until next season.

Another common mistake deer hunters make is removing their hunter orange clothing once they reach their deer stand. The entire purpose of the hunter orange clothing law is to make one hunter visible to other hunters. Taking your hunter orange vest and/or cap off when you get in your stand not only violates the law, but defeats the reason for this law: to help keep you safe. Hunter orange must be kept on while in the field hunting.

A final recurring question many hunters have concerns retrieving deer. If a deer you take winds up on property where you don?t have permission to be, you must get permission before you retrieve your animal on someone else?s land.

Trespassing is one of the most prevalent problems during deer season. Hunting without permission is a serious violation, but at the same time, can almost always be avoided. If you?re not absolutely sure you have permission to be where you are, go back to a place you are sure about.

Hunters are strongly encouraged to read the Kentucky Fall Hunting & Trapping Guide, keep this guide with them on hunting trips, and call the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources with any questions at (800) 858-1549.

There?s no reason to be unaware of the law, and a whole lot of reason to be.


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