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Deer Hunting Program to Change at Land Between The Lakes

April 18, 2016 | press release from Land Between The Lakes

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area has seen a decrease in white-tailed deer numbers over the last several years, especially on the Kentucky portion. Recent analysis shows that adjustments to hunting regulations need to be made now.

Officials at Land Between The Lakes have worked with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on possible solutions. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Eliminating bonus deer in Kentucky and Tennessee on Land Between The Lakes, except for youth quota hunts.
  • Reducing the length of the archery season and bag limit on the Kentucky portion of the recreation area.

"We see enough evidence that we need to make these changes for the fall hunting seasons," said Jan Bush, Public Affairs Officer at Land Between The Lakes. "After these initial changes, we plan to monitor and make adjustments as needed."

Numerous factors have contributed to deer declines in recent years. These include outbreaks of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease commonly referred to as EHD, increased archery hunting pressure-especially on the Kentucky portion, and a mature closed canopy forest. Forest and open land habitat must provide adequate forage and conditions for white-tailed deer. Land Between The Lakes in cooperation with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will conduct a herd health assessment this summer.

Herd management depends on hunters correctly reporting harvests and respecting the rules. Regulations require that deer harvested on Land Between The Lakes be recorded at check stations or welcome stations before leaving the recreation area. State checking systems allow reporting after business hours. Hunters are required to check the deer on the day of harvest.

Land Between the Lakes works closely with its federal, state, and local partners. Decisions to change the hunting program are pending notification and approval by state authorities in Kentucky and Tennessee. Those wishing to comment, may send an email to comments-southern-land-between-lakes@fs.fed.us or write to Land Between The Lakes, Attn: Hunt Program, 238 Visitor Center Drive, Golden Pond, KY 42211.




Bison Herd
Photo by Libby Mundy

Visitors to the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes can almost always catch a glimpse of some bison. They are most frequently seen early in the morning and in the late afternoon.