Kentucky hunters set a harvest record of 101,076 deer during the 16-day modern gun deer season that ended Sunday, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said Tuesday.
Kentucky hunters are on pace to set a record for overall deer harvest, as well.
Through Monday, Kentucky hunters had taken 127,551 deer, about 4,000 short of the state record of 131,395 set last year.
"We had the second-highest opening-day harvest for modern gun deer season and the highest closing weekend on record," said Tina Brunjes, deer and elk coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
Brunjes said that a below-average harvest for the late muzzleloader season that runs Dec. 14-22 probably would still make this season's harvest the largest ever.
"Given that an average late muzzleloader season is 7,000 to 8,000 deer harvested, barring an ice storm or major snow that keeps people from getting out and hunting, we should surpass the overall harvest record," she said.
A spotty mast crop that makes deer move around, favorable weather and dedicated hunters all combined to account for the big harvest this season.
"The data shows that more Kentucky hunters who go afield are successfully taking deer," Brunjes said. "In addition, lots of people from what I've seen are taking some nice bucks this year."