June 17, 2019

Kentucky: Crossbow Deer Season Expansions Enacted for 2019-2020

Contact: John Culclasure, Central Appalachian States Manager

On May 31, a regulation change that significantly expands the Kentucky crossbow deer season went into effect. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation supported the regulation change and submitted a letter in support that stressed the importance of increasing access and opportunity for Kentucky hunters to support hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts.

After the regulation passed the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee on April 9 – when it was not deferred or found to be deficient – the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Energy did not the put the regulation on their docket and thus the regulation went into effect. Prior to committee action, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the regulation twice.

Crossbow deer season will now start on the third Saturday in September and end on third Monday in January which expands the season by roughly 50 days. Archery season closes the same day but opens on the first Saturday in September. Additionally, crossbow season for youth (15 and younger) will now run concurrently with archery season.

In addition to CSF, the regulation change was also supported by a number of other sportsmen’s groups, including the Kentucky Crossbow Federation.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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