Kentucky deer hunters set a new total harvest record this 2015-2016 deer season.
The Kentucky deer season is open until January 18th, but hunters across the state have set a new harvest total record. As of December 23rd, hunters checked in 150, 569 deer which topples the former 2013 record of 144,409 deer.
It's said that January brings in around 1,500 additional deer, so the final tally will sit around 152,000 total deer checked in.
State deer program director Gabe Jenkins stated, "It's our highest harvest on record which is great. The herd is healthy and deer are reproducing."
It's no secret Kentucky has had a great year in which various 200+ inch whitetails were harvest. The state is becoming a powerhouse and epicenter for hunters across the nation seeking to shoot a big whitetail buck.
Buddy Deville shot this 202-inch whitetail on a hunting trip early in the season and set the tone for the rest of the season.
Kentucky set harvest records in September, October, and November. November gun season grossed in an astonishing 105,440 deer. In the first weekend, 44,314 deer were harvested in the first two days of season.
The Kentucky hunting population has been growing in recent years. The state is home to about 300,000 deer hunters. Kentucky estimates that the deer heard is around one million strong.
In terms of continuing the growth of the hunting population, Jenkins said:
"A big harvest leaves hunters happy and is good for the economy. We also have to realize there are a lot of deer on the landscape and we need to continue to manage the resource properly."
Here's another giant whitetail taken during the record setting Kentucky deer season.
This Kentucky buck was taken on film and tallied up a total of 267 gross inches. Hopefully Kentucky can keep the record-setting number and bucks for many years to come.