Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Questions And Answers For Modern Gun Deer Season

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Modern gun season for deer, the highlight of the fall hunting calendar, opens Nov. 12, 2011.

Hunters often wonder about rules and regulations concerning deer hunting. Here are some FAQs (frequently asked questions) about Kentucky’s most popular big game hunting season:

Q: Does modern gun season for deer open on Nov. 12 every year?

A: No. It opens statewide on the second Saturday in November. The actual date changes annually due to calendar shift.

Q: How long is modern gun season open?

A: Kentucky’s 120 counties are divided into four deer management zones. Counties in Zones 1-2 have a 16-day season (Nov. 12-27) and there’s a 10-day season in the counties of Zones 3-4 (Nov. 12-21).

Q: How many bucks can a hunter take during modern gun season?

A: All hunters have a bag limit of one antlered deer per season, no matter what they hunt with (modern gun, bow, crossbow, or muzzleloader), or the seasons they choose to hunt.

Q: How many antlerless deer (does) can a hunter take during modern gun season?

A: In the Zone 1 counties, hunters may take an unlimited number of antlerless deer. There’s no “daily” bag limit on deer. In Zones 2-4, the combined bag limit for all deer seasons is four deer. Hunters are reminded that in the Zone 4 counties, antlerless deer may not be taken during modern gun season.

Q: How do hunters check in the deer they take during modern gun season?

A: Hunters now have three Telecheck options: The first is to call (800) CHK-GAME (245-4263). The second and third options are online. Visit the department’s website at from a home computer or laptop, or a phone with a web browser, and follow the prompts. All deer taken in Kentucky must be Telechecked.

Q: Can hunters use archery gear or muzzleloaders during modern gun season for deer?

A: Yes; any legal rifle, handgun, bow, crossbow or muzzleloader may be used. All deer hunters must wear hunter orange clothing and must follow all firearm season restrictions, zone guidelines and other hunting requirements.

Q: A 30-year old resident who is new to hunting wants to know what license and permits are required for modern gun deer season. A co-worker invited him to hunt on their family’s farm.

A: Kentucky residents must purchase an annual hunting license and deer permit. Additionally, anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1975 must carry a valid hunter education course completion card while hunting. Anyone hunting for the first time is also eligible to buy a hunter education exemption permit. This permit allows apprentice hunters to hunt for one year without a hunter education card. The permit requires its holder to hunt with a licensed, adult hunter who meets the hunter education requirement.

Q: Where can a hunter get more information about Kentucky’s deer seasons?

A: A summary of Kentucky’s deer season dates, a list of counties in the various management zones and other important laws can be found in the 2011-12 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide, a 66-page booklet that’s available wherever licenses are sold. Also, deer season regulations are posted online at:


  1. Jim Abbott says:

    How far are people to be from homes when hunting. We have a new neighborhood on Lake Cumberland and the Army Corp of Engineer’s land is approximately 60 yards from our house and people hunt in the trees there.

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