STRAIGHT ARROW: Stats from the 2013 hunters’ harvest

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Straight Arrow

By Gene Culver

I just went online to the website of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to apply for my 2014 elk permit.

The application process for 2014 started Jan. 1 and will continue until the last day of April. The only way to apply is online — if I can do it anyone can, just a few minutes and who knows, you could be headed to the mountains of eastern Kentucky this fall to hunt these majestic animals.

While I was on the KDFW site, I also checked to see if the spring turkey seasons had been set and looked at the 2013-2014 harvest results.

The youth turkey season will be April 5-6, with the statewide season opening the following weekend, April 12 and remaining open until May 4. These seasons will be here before we know it, and I, for one, am looking forward to them.

During the 2013- 2014 seasons, hunters in Kentucky harvested a record number of deer, taking 144,406. Of these, 77,720 were bucks and 66,686 were antlerless. In Nelson County we harvested 2,169 deer with 1,146 being bucks and 1,023 antlerless. Archers harvested 277 of these deer.

After this I wanted to look at the harvest results on three animal species that were almost unheard of in Kentucky just a few years ago.

First I looked at the elk: Last year there were 900 tags and hunters harvested 656. Of these, 242 were bulls and 414 were cows. Bowhunters took 142 of these animals.

The counties with the highest harvest numbers were Knott (195), Leslie (122) and Perry (98). Breathitt, Bell and Harlan counties also had good harvest numbers.

Bear hunting in Kentucky was nonexistent until about three years ago, but this year hunters took 20 black bears. Four of these were taken with bow and arrow, all 20 were taken on private property with Letcher County having seven, Harlan, Leslie and Perry counties had three from each county followed by Pike and Wayne counties with two bears taken from each.

Lastly, I checked on the bobcat harvest. This was of special interest to me since Eric had taken one with his bow this year. (I have only seen one of these animals ever, as much as I hunt.)

Statewide, 2,203 bobcats were harvested with 940 by hunting methods, but there was no distinction between weapons, so there is no way to tell how many were taken with archery equipment. Trappers took 1,263.

In Nelson County, a total of 15 bobcats were harvested, nine of these by hunters and six by trapping.


Local archer and outdoorsman Gene Culver operates the Bent Arrow Archery Shop (www.bentarrowarchery.com) with his wife, Bonnie. Contact them at 549-8119 with questions.