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Kentucky's modern gun deer season is officially open

Hunters can now use this equipment to harvest deer in Kentucky until November 28.

KENTUCKY, USA — We're in the middle of hunting season and the start of modern gun season in Kentucky. Modern gun season is when most of Kentucky's deer hunting takes place, making up about 60-70% of the state's annual harvest.

The season opened Saturday, Nov. 13 and will remain open through Nov. 28. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.


During this 16-day season, hunters can use modern guns, including air guns of .35 caliber or larger charged by an external tank, muzzleloaders, and archery and crossbow equipment.

  • Rifle or handgun magazines may not be capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
  • Rifles or handguns may not be fully-automatic (capable of firing more than one round with one trigger pull).
  • Full metal jacketed or tracer bullet ammunition is prohibited.
  • Shotguns, no larger than 10-gauge, shooting slug ammunition only (includes saboted bullets).
  • Muzzle-loading rifles, handguns, or shotguns shooting round balls, conical bullets, or saboted bullets.
  • Air guns of .35 caliber or larger charged by an external tank, shooting single projectile ammunition designed to expand upon impact.


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was detected in Tennessee near the Kentucky state border. Because of this, hunters have to follow a set of special regulation changes within the CWD Surveillance Zone. This includes counties of Fulton, Hickman, Graves, Marshall and Calloway.

  • Mandatory CWD Check Stations within these five counties during modern gun season (Nov. 13-28) and late muzzleloader season (Dec. 11-19). All deer harvested during modern gun or muzzleloader seasons must be taken to a check station, regardless of method of take or license exemption status.
  • No baiting/feeding of deer.
  • Mandatory use of carcass tag. Any deer carcass being moved within or through the surveillance zone must have a carcass tag visible from the outside with hunter/possessor information legibly shown.
  • Restricted carcass transportation. De-boned meat, antlers, antlers attached to a clean skull plate, a clean skull, clean teeth, hides and finished taxidermy products may be taken out of the Surveillance Zone. Carcasses of deer or elk harvested elsewhere in Kentucky may be transported into the surveillance zone.

As a safety reminder, all hunters have to wear a blaze orange hat plus a vest or jacket during firearms deer seasons.

The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources has more information on what you need to know prior to going hunting.

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