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Oct 13th, 2017

Most bow hunters will tell you the most difficult time to hunt deer during Kentucky’s 136-day archery season may be the so-called October Lull

In early-to-mid October deer seem to disappear into thin air. Early season stands where hunters saw lots of deer suddenly go cold, as if some mythical switch has been flipped.

In fact, there’s no drop off in deer activity. The October Lull can be explained by changing patterns — where deer feed, bed, the trails they use, and how they associate with one another.

Deer still eat, drink water, and escape hot or cold on a daily basis. Hunters just have to figure out where the deer are, and what’s going on.

In October, bucks move to heavy cover where they feel safe. They spent less time on their feet during daylight hours, and enter fields later, usually at dark to scent check does as the rut approaches. (Photo by Mark Wallner)In October, bucks move to heavy cover where they feel safe. They spent less time on their feet during daylight hours, and enter fields later, usually at dark to scent check does as the rut approaches. (Photo by Mark Wallner)


That means heading into the heavy cover, scouting trails and looking for fresh sign. Rainy days are good scouting weather because a hunter’s scent is washed away.

Here’s some observations to mull over, during the lull over, leading up to the onset of the rut, the whitetail’s annual mating season:

* When bow season opens deer are still in their summer pattern. They are primarily feeding on clover, alfalfa, and other green plants. In fact, deer feed on hundreds of grasses, forbs, and mushrooms, even some that are toxic to humans.

They forage in open fields, especially late in the evenings, and are very visible. Usually the best hunting is from a treestand or ground blind at the edge of a field, where deer enter or exit.

All that changes as October approaches.

* When acorns ripen and begin to fall, deer head to the woods to pig out on the hard mast, packing on fat for the coming cold weather.

One key to success in October is deciphering these “in the cover food patterns.” Mast production has a big impact on deer movement, and consequently, hunter success. In years of heavy mast crops, deer move less, “camping” on food sources. In lean years they are forced to look around more to find food.

Gabe Jenkins, deer and elk program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said the 2017 Mast Survey results showed poor to good mast production across Kentucky. Of the white oak trees observed by biologists in the field, just 31 percent had acorns (poor), as opposed to 63 percent of the red oaks (good).

For bow hunters, now is the time to key on areas where there are white oak trees, since their acorns are the deer’s first food choice. Find a white oak that’s dropping acorns and it’s likely deer will be feeding there at some point during the day.

If you can’t find white oak acorns look for red oak acorns.

A climbing tree stand is ideal for this type of hunting because it’s easy to be highly mobile, moving around from day to day, hunting on the edges of likely feeding areas. Pick a tree to climb based on wind direction and prevailing light (rising or setting sun).

White oak acorns are the deer’s preferred food choice in the fall. The 2017 Statewide Mast Survey results showed poor mast production for white oaks , just 31 percent of oak trees observed by biologists in the field produced nuts.White oak acorns are the deer’s preferred food choice in the fall. The 2017 Statewide Mast Survey results showed poor mast production for white oaks , just 31 percent of oak trees observed by biologists in the field produced nuts.


* Soft mast, what we’ll call fall treats, are also magnets that pull deer away from their normal travel and food patterns.

Apples are a favorite fall food and old trees around abandoned homesteads are a good place to hunt. And don’t overlook persimmon trees. When these tasty and tart fruits begin to ripen and fall to the ground, it’s standing room only. Deer will visit fruit-bearing persimmon trees daily.

* As bachelor groups of bucks break up, individual bucks move to heavy cover where they feel safe.

Increases in foot traffic from hunters alert deer, especially bucks, making them less likely to step into the open. They spent less time on their feet during daylight hours, and enter fields later. In summer, these buck were visible in fields. Now they only visit fields after dark, usually to scent check does as the rut approaches.

A good strategy, if hunting for a buck on a destination food source such as a winter wheat field or cut corn field, is to backtrack the trails that lead to the field. What you are looking for is a staging area that may be 100 to 150 yards from the field. It’s a place where terrain offers security, where a bedded buck can both see and smell any approaching predator (deer hunter or coyote). A bench on a hillside is a prime location.

 

If there is fresh sign, a well-travelled trail, droppings, depressions in the grass or leaves (deer day beds), antler rubs or scrapes in the dirt, you’ve found a good spot to hang a stand.

* As vegetation thins and temperatures fall, deer bedding areas change. In warm weather deer bed in shade, close to water. In the fall and winter they seek out the warm of the sun, bedding on south-facing slopes, or ridgetops where thermals being warm air to them as the sun rises.

* While does and their fawns typically live in the best cover, close to prime bedding and feeding areas, bucks have summer and winter home ranges, that expand or contract throughout the year.

Every hunter has seen a good buck during the summer, and then never again, during the season. Home ranges of different bucks overlap, so the good news is a shooter might appear during the season that’s you’ve never seen before. That’s deer hunting.

Don’t use the October Lull as an excuse not to hunt. Just head for the heavy cover, and hunt on fresh sign.

 

Art landers Jr.Art landers Jr.Art Lander Jr. is outdoors editor for KyForward. He is a native Kentuckian, a graduate of Western Kentucky University and a life-long hunter, angler, gardener and nature enthusiast. He has worked as a newspaper columnist, magazine journalist and author and is a former staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine, editor of the annual Kentucky Hunting & Trapping Guide and Kentucky Spring Hunting Guide, and co-writer of the Kentucky Afield Outdoors newspaper column.

 

 

 

HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!

Greens fee special due to greens aerification will run till October 1. $25.00 Weekday/$30.00 Weekend

Missy KernnedyMissy KernnedyMissing club alert! If anyone picked up a ladies Strata 7 iron over the last few days please let us know! It belongs to one of our LC High School golfers. Check your bags if you don't mind! ;)

Our next event is on Saturday, October 14. The Joe Damon Memorial.

Come on out! This weather is great!!!

Thanks! and see you at the course!

 


Missy Kennedy, PGA Head Golf Professional/Park Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Eagle Ridge Golf Course

Yatesville Lake State Park

(606) 673-1492 business office

 

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2017) – Jenny Wiley State Resort Park will open the elk-viewing season with its Elk Night buffet Sept. 16 from 4-9 p.m.

The menu will include elk roast carved on the line, hunter’s elk chili, elk meatloaf, fried chicken, catfish with hush puppies, lyonnaise potatoes, shoe peg corn and other vegetables and desserts.

The buffet is held on the first day of elk viewing tours at Jenny Wiley that run through the fall and winter. Adults are $18.95 and children ages 6-12 are $8.95. Ages 5 and under are free. Drink not included.

Elk were re-introduced to Kentucky in 1997 as a restoration project by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The department estimates there are more than 10,000 elk in Kentucky. Some of the best areas for elk habitat are on reclaimed surface mines in Eastern Kentucky.

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is sponsoring elk tours at a cost of $30 per person or $15 per child, 12 and under. This fee includes transportation by van to the viewing sites and a continental breakfast. The elk-viewing tours will run through Dec. 2. The tours will resume in January.

The park also offers overnight tour packages that include lodging, dinner, and an elk tour with continental breakfast for $160 per couple. Guests should register for the trips. Special group and business tours are available.

Call 606-889-1790 for information and reservations. For a list of dates, visit: http://parks.ky.gov/calendar/details/appalachian-elk-viewing-tour/21209/

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Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is located on 1,100-acre Dewey Lake. The park has a lodge and conference center as well as fishing, boating, marina, swimming, and other recreational opportunities. The park also has cottages, a campground and dining.

 

Date: 09-20-2017

Conservation works. Just ask the black bears.

The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust has remote trail cameras along wildlife corridors near Blanton Forest on Pine Mountain – and one of those cameras captured video of a mama black bear and three frolicking cubs.

Black bears spotted at Pine MountainBlack bears spotted at Pine Mountain

One of the cubs sizes up a tree, before moving on to follow its mother.

Black bears are believed to have traveled through the forests of Pine Mountain on their return to Kentucky in recent years, after being gone from the state for much of the past century.

State, federal and nonprofit entities have been working to preserve Pine Mountain and Blanton Forest, Kentucky’s largest old-growth forest.

The land trust announced recently it had acquired three tracts of forestland totaling 651 acres along Pine Mountain in Bell County.

The tracts contain a diversity of unique habitats and add to the critically important conservation lands that are already a part of the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor, trust officials said. Over the last year, nearly 4,000 acres of forests in Bell and Harlan counties have been added to the wildlands corridor through the work of KNLT and the support of many donors and partners.

“Thousands of acres have come together from Pineville to Harlan,” said Greg Abernathy, assistant director of the land trust.

That’s an important ecological buffer to the 3,500-acre Blanton Forest, and the work also ties into Kentucky’s connection to a planned Great Eastern Trail, America’s newest long-distance trail for hikers from Alabama to New York, he said.

These bears were in Harlan County. Abernathy said it has several trail cams on property it manages. They’ve captured images of coyotes, deer, bobcats, wild turkeys, elk and other critters.

By James Bruggers
The Courier-Journal

 

Date: 08-24-2017


Harlan Daily Enterprise

FRANKFORT — People can now go online to report suspected cases of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in dead or dying deer.

“We’ve created an easy-to-use online survey that allows people to notify the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife of dead or dying deer no matter what time of day,” said Gabe Jenkins, big game coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We’ll use this information to create up-to-date maps so the public can see the extent of the disease’s spread.”

The digital form is available at fw.ky.gov under the “Important Info” tab. It only takes a few minutes to complete.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife first began receiving reports of stricken deer in mid-July. The department now has received more than 240 reports of dead or dying deer suspected of contracting epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in 34 counties. The department has received most of its reports from eastern Kentucky.

EHD is a viral disease transmitted to deer through the bite of a midge or gnat. The disease, which does not affect humans or pets, has been present in the United States for more than 60 years. Outbreaks cease when the first frost kills the biting bugs.

Other states in the Appalachian region have reported similar cases of deer mortality.

Kentucky’s deer hunting seasons this year will not be affected by the outbreak. “After the last major outbreak in 2007, we actually saw an increase in the quality of bucks statewide just a couple years later,” Jenkins noted. “It brought deer populations to better levels in some of the more densely areas, because there was more food on the landscape for the remaining deer.”

Deer infected with EHD may appear lethargic and may not respond or run away when approached by people. Deer may exhibit excessive salivation, swelling around the face and neck, and their tongues may hang out. Typically, deer that have died from the disease are found around water, such as rivers and creeks. People who see live deer exhibiting disease symptoms or find dead deer should report it online immediately at fw.ky.gov or call the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Information Center at 800-858-1549.

The department staffs the center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern), Monday through Friday. Personnel will collect information then provide the name and telephone number of a biologist in the area for possible testing of the animal.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is also urging hunters to report any observations of deer that appear to have died of natural causes.

For more information on this disease and a current map of the outbreak, visit the main page of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov. A Facebook interview with Jenkins and “Kentucky Afield” television host Chad Miles concerning the outbreak is also accessible on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Facebook page.