††††† 301 KAR 2:172. Deer hunting seasons, zones, and requirements.


††††† RELATES TO: KRS 150.010, 150.177, 150.180, 150.411(3), 150.990, 237.110

††††† STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 150.025(1), 150.170, 150.175, 150.390(1)

††††† NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 150.025(1) authorizes the department to establish hunting seasons, bag limits, methods of taking, and to promulgate administrative regulations establishing hunting seasons, bag limits of taking wildlife. KRS 150.170 exempts certain people from hunting license and permit requirements. KRS 150.175 authorizes the kinds of licenses and permits to be issued by the department. KRS 150.390(1) prohibits the taking of deer in any manner contrary to any provisions of KRS Chapter 150 or its administrative regulations. This administrative regulation establishes deer hunting seasons and zones, legal methods of taking, and checking and recording requirements for deer hunting.


††††† Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Additional deer permit" means a permit that allows the holder to take up to two (2) additional deer beyond those allowed by the statewide permit in the following combinations:

††††† (a) One (1) antlered deer and one (1) antlerless deer; or

††††† (b) Two (2) antlerless deer.

††††† (2) "Adult" means a person who is at least eighteen (18) years of age.

††††† (3) "Antlered deer" means a deer with a visible antler protruding above the hairline.

††††† (4) "Antlerless deer" means a deer with no visible antler protruding above the hairline, and includes:

††††† (a) Female deer; and

††††† (b) Male fawns or button bucks.

††††† (5) "Archery equipment" means a long bow, recurve bow, or compound bow incapable of holding an arrow at full or partial draw without aid from the archer.

††††† (6) "Arrow" means the projectile fired from a bow or crossbow.

††††† (7) "Barbed broadhead" means a point or portion of a blade projecting backward from a broadhead designed to hold an arrow within an animal.

††††† (8) "Crossbow" means a bow designed or fitted with a device to hold an arrow at full or partial draw without aid from the archer.

††††† (9) "Deer" means a member of the species Odocoileus virginianus.

††††† (10) "Firearm" means a breech or muzzle-loading rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

††††† (11) "Fully-automatic firearm" means a firearm that fires more than one (1) time with a single pull of the trigger.

††††† (12) "License year" means the period from March 1 through the following last day of February.

††††† (13) "Modern gun" means a rifle, handgun, or shotgun that is loaded from the rear of the barrel.

††††† (14) "Muzzle-loading gun" means a rifle, shotgun, or handgun that is loaded from the discharging end of the barrel or discharging end of the cylinder.

††††† (15) "Shotshell" means ammunition containing more than one (1) projectile.

††††† (16) "Statewide deer permit" means a permit, which, in conjunction with appropriate licenses, seasons, and methods, allows the holder to take:

††††† (a) One (1) antlered deer and one (1) antlerless deer; or

††††† (b) Two (2) antlerless deer

††††† (17) "Statewide deer requirements" means the season dates, zone descriptions, bag limits, and other requirements and restrictions for deer hunting established in this administrative regulation.

††††† (18) "Youth" means a person under the age of sixteen (16) by the date of the hunt.

††††† (19) "Zone" means an area consisting of counties designated by the department within which deer hunting season dates and limits are set for the management and conservation of deer in Kentucky.


††††† Section 2. License and Deer Permit Requirements. (1) Unless exempted by KRS 150.170, a person shall carry proof of purchase of a valid Kentucky hunting license and valid deer permit while hunting.

††††† (2) In lieu of a statewide deer permit, a person possessing a valid junior statewide hunting license shall not use more than two (2) junior deer hunting permits.

††††† (3) An additional deer permit shall not be valid unless accompanied by a valid Kentucky hunting license and statewide deer permit.


††††† Section 3. Hunter Restrictions. (1) A deer hunter:

††††† (a) Shall not take deer except during daylight hours;

††††† (b) Shall not use dogs, except leashed tracking dogs to recover wounded deer;

††††† (c) Shall not take a deer that is swimming; and

††††† (d) Shall not take a deer from a vehicle, boat, or on horseback, except that a hunter with a disabled hunting exemption permit issued by the department may use a stationary vehicle as a hunting platform.

††††† (e) Shall not possess or use a decoy or call powered by electricity from any source.

††††† (2) A deer hunter shall not take a deer with any device except a firearm, crossbow, or archery equipment as authorized by Section 5 of this administrative regulation.

††††† (3) A person shall not use any of the following items to take a deer:

††††† (a) Rimfire ammunition;

††††† (b) A fully-automatic firearm;

††††† (c) A firearm with a magazine capacity greater than ten (10) rounds;

††††† (d) Full metal jacketed ammunition;

††††† (e) Tracer bullet ammunition;

††††† (f) A shotshell containing larger than number two (2) size shot;

††††† (g) A broadhead smaller than seven-eighths (7/8) inch wide;

††††† (h) A barbed broadhead;

††††† (i) A crossbow without a working safety device;

††††† (j) A chemically-treated arrow;

††††† (k) An arrow with a chemical attachment;

††††† (l) Multiple projectile ammunition; or

††††† (m) Any weapon that is not consistent with the appropriate season established in Section 5 of this administrative regulation.


††††† Section 4. Hunter Orange Clothing Requirements. (1) During the modern gun deer season, muzzle-loader season and any youth firearm season, a person hunting any species during daylight hours and any person accompanying a hunter, shall display solid, unbroken hunter orange visible from all sides on the head, back, and chest except while hunting waterfowl.

††††† (2) During an elk firearm season as established in 301 KAR 2:132, a person hunting any species and any person accompanying a hunter within the elk restoration zone, shall display solid, unbroken hunter orange visible from all sides on the head, back, and chest except while hunting waterfowl.

††††† (3) The hunter orange portions of a garment worn to fulfill the requirements of this section:

††††† (a) May display a small section of another color; and

††††† (b) Shall not have mesh weave openings exceeding one-fourth (1/4) inch by any measurement.

††††† (4) A camouflage-pattern hunter orange garment worn without additional solid hunter orange on the head, back and chest shall not meet the requirements of this section.


††††† Section 5. Statewide Season Dates. (1) A deer hunter may use archery equipment to hunt deer statewide from the first Saturday in September through the third Monday in January.

††††† (2) A deer hunter may take deer with a modern firearm statewide beginning the second Saturday in November:

††††† (a) For sixteen (16) consecutive days in Zones 1 and 2; and

††††† (b) For ten (10) consecutive days in Zones 3 and 4.

††††† (3) A deer hunter may use a muzzle-loading gun to hunt deer statewide:

††††† (a) For two (2) consecutive days beginning the third Saturday in October;

††††† (b) For nine (9) consecutive days beginning the second Saturday in December; and

††††† (c) During any season when a modern gun may be used to take deer.

††††† (4) A deer hunter may use a crossbow to hunt deer statewide:

††††† (a) From October 1 through the end of the third full weekend in October;

††††† (b) From the second Saturday in November through December 31; and

††††† (c) During any season when a firearm may be used to take deer.

††††† (5) Youth firearm season. For two (2) consecutive days beginning on the second Saturday in October, a youth deer hunter shall:

††††† (a) Use any legal method to take antlered or antlerless deer; and

††††† (b) Be required to follow all other statewide deer hunting requirements.

††††† (6) There shall be a free youth weekend for two (2) consecutive days beginning on the Saturday after Christmas during which a youth shall:

††††† (a) Not be required to have a hunting license or deer permit;

††††† (b) Use any legal method to take antlered or antlerless deer; and

††††† (c) Be required to follow all other statewide deer hunting requirements.


††††† Section 6. Zones. (1) Zone 1 shall consist of Anderson, Ballard, Boone, Bracken, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carlisle, Carroll, Christian, Crittenden, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin, Grant, Graves, Harrison, Henry, Hickman, Jefferson, Kenton, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trigg, Trimble, Washington, and Woodford Counties.

††††† (2) Zone 2 shall consist of Allen, Bourbon, Boyd, Bullitt, Carter, Fayette, Fleming, Green, Greenup, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, Hopkins, Jessamine, Larue, Lawrence, Lewis, Logan, Mason, McLean, Mercer, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Nicholas, Todd, Union, and Webster Counties.

††††† (3) Zone 3 shall consist of Adair, Barren, Bath, Boyle, Breckinridge, Butler, Casey, Clark, Cumberland, Daviess, Edmondson, Elliott, Estill, Grayson, Hancock, Johnson, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Meade, Menifee, Metcalf, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Ohio, Powell, Rowan, Simpson, Taylor, Warren, and Wolfe Counties.

††††† (4) Zone 4 shall consist of Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Clinton, Floyd, Garrard, Harlan, Jackson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne, and Whitley Counties.


††††† Section 7. Season and Zone Limits. (1) A person shall not take more than four (4) deer statewide in a license year except:

††††† (a) As authorized in 301 KAR 2:111, 2:176, 2:178, and 3:100; and

††††† (b) A person may take an unlimited number of antlerless deer in Zone 1 provided the person has purchased the appropriate bonus permits.

††††† (2) A person shall not take more than one (1) antlered deer per license year, regardless of the permit type used, except as established in 301 KAR 2:111, 2:178, and 3:100.

††††† (3) In Zone 3, a person may take two (2) deer with a firearm.

††††† (4) In Zone 4, a person may take:

††††† (a) Only two (2) deer with a firearm; and

††††† (b) Antlered deer only during:

††††† 1. Modern firearm season;

††††† 2. Early muzzleloader season; and

††††† 3. The first six (6) days of the December muzzleloader season.

††††† (5) The aggregate bag limit for Zones, 2, 3, and 4 shall be four (4) deer per hunter.


††††† Section 8. Supervision of Youth Firearm Deer Hunters. (1) An adult shall:

††††† (a) Accompany a person under sixteen (16) years old; and

††††† (b) Remain in a position to take immediate control of the youth's firearm.

††††† (2) An adult accompanying a youth hunter shall not be required to possess a hunting license or deer permit if the adult is not hunting.


††††† Section 9. Harvest Recording. (1) Immediately after taking a deer, and prior to moving the carcass, a person shall record, in writing:

††††† (a) The species taken:

††††† (b) The date taken:

††††† (c) The county where taken; and

††††† (d) The sex of the deer taken on one (1) of the following:

††††† 1. The hunter's log section on the reverse side of a license or permit;

††††† 2. The hunter's log produced in a hunting guide;

††††† 3. A hunter's log printed from the Internet;

††††† 4. A hunter's log available from any KDSS agent; or

††††† 5. An index or similar card.

††††† (2) The person shall retain and possess the completed hunter's log when the person is in the field during the current hunting season.


††††† Section 10. Checking a Deer. (1) A person shall check a harvested deer by:

††††† (a) Calling the toll free telecheck number at (800) 245-4263 or on the departmentís website at fw.ky.gov:

††††† 1. Before midnight on the day the deer is recovered; and

††††† 2. Prior to processing or removing the hide or head from the carcass;

††††† (b) Providing the information requested by the automated check-in system; and

††††† (c) Writing the confirmation number given by the system on the hunter's log authorized in Section 9 of this administrative regulation.

††††† (2) If a hunter transfers possession of a harvested deer, the hunter shall attach to the carcass a hand-made tag that contains the following information:

††††† (a) The confirmation number;

††††† (b) The hunter's name; and

††††† (c) The hunter's telephone number.

††††† (3) A person shall not provide false information while completing the hunterís log, checking a deer, or creating a carcass tag.


††††† Section 11. Transporting and Processing Deer. (1) A person shall:

††††† (a) Not transport an unchecked deer out of Kentucky;

††††† (b) Have proof that a deer or parts of deer brought into Kentucky were legally taken;

††††† (c) Not sell deer hides except to a licensed:

††††† 1. Fur buyer;

††††† 2. Fur processor; or

††††† 3. Taxidermist.

††††† (2) A taxidermist or an individual who commercially butchers deer shall:

††††† (a) Not accept deer carcasses or any part of a deer without a valid disposal permit issued by the department pursuant to KRS 150.411(3) or a proper carcass tag as established in Section 10 of this administrative regulation.

††††† (b) Keep accurate records of the hunter's name, address, confirmation number, and date received for each deer in possession and retain such records for a period of one (1) year. (21 Ky.R. 2569; eff. 5-10-1995; Am. 22 Ky.R. 1874; eff. 6-6-96; 23 Ky.R. 3870; eff. 7-9-1997; 24 Ky.R. 2741; 25 Ky.R. 300; eff. 8-17-98; 2653; eff. 7-14-99; 27 Ky.R. 203; 746; eff. 8-24-2000; 3142; eff. 7-16-01; 28 Ky.R. 2415; eff. 7-15-2002; 29 Ky.R. 2520; 2872; eff. 6-16-2003; 30 Ky.R. 983; 2559; eff. 1-5-2004; 31 Ky.R. 344; eff. 8-26-2004; 1708; 1985; 32 Ky.R. 56; eff. 7-13-2005; 1470; 1883; eff. 5-5-2006; 33 Ky.R. 3444; eff. 8-6-2007; 34 Ky.R. 2439; 35 Ky.R. 26, eff. 7-9-2008; 2351; 2671; eff. 7-6-2009; 36 Ky.R. 2080-A; 2316; eff. 6-3-2010; 37 Ky.R. 2467, eff. 6-2-2011, 38 Ky.R. 1475, 1725, eff. 5-4-2012.)