4 Types Of Deer Found In Kentucky

As you wander through the lush forests and rolling hills of Kentucky, you may find yourself awed by the magnificent creatures that roam the land.

Among them are several types of deer, each with their distinct characteristics and habitats.

From the graceful White-Tailed Deer to the majestic Elk, Kentucky is home to a diverse range of deer species that have adapted to the unique landscape and climate of the region.

Key Takeaways

  • White-Tailed Deer is the most common deer species found in Kentucky and is a popular game animal during hunting season.
  • Elk, the second largest member of the deer family, was reintroduced to Kentucky in 1997 and is strictly regulated through hunting permits limited and regulated through a lottery system.
  • Mule Deer, also known as blacktail deer, is introduced and primarily found in the western part of the state, and hunting is strictly regulated through permits and bag limits.
  • Black-Tailed Deer is a non-native species introduced for hunting in early 1900s and prefers forested areas with a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees, and hunting restrictions are similar to other deer species in Kentucky.

White-Tailed Deer

You’ve probably seen a White-tailed Deer in Kentucky, with their distinctive white underside of their tail and impressive antlers.

White-tailed Deer are the most common type of deer found in Kentucky, and they can be found throughout the state.

They are known for their agility and quickness, which makes them a challenging target for hunters.

When it comes to deer hunting tips, it’s important to understand the behavior of White-tailed Deer.

They are most active during dawn and dusk, which is when they are most likely to be seen.

They’re also most active during the fall and winter months, which is when they’re preparing for the mating season.

During this time, male deer will fight for the attention of females, which is when their antlers come in handy.

Knowing these behaviors can help hunters increase their chances of success when hunting White-tailed Deer in Kentucky.


Elk roam freely through the rolling hills and vast grasslands of the Bluegrass State.

These majestic creatures are the second largest member of the deer family, with males, or bulls, weighing up to 700 pounds!

Here are some interesting facts about elk that you may not have known:

  • Elk are social animals and live in large herds, sometimes numbering in the hundreds.
  • They are primarily active at dawn and dusk, and spend much of the day resting or grazing.
  • Elk are herbivores and can consume up to 20 pounds of vegetation in a single day!
  • During mating season, known as the rut, males will compete for the attention of females by bugling and fighting with other bulls.

Elk were once extinct in Kentucky, but were reintroduced in 1997 with the goal of establishing a self-sustaining population.

Today, they can be found in the eastern and southeastern regions of the state, where they inhabit forested areas and grasslands.

Kentucky’s elk hunting regulations are strictly enforced, with limited permits available through a lottery system.

These regulations help to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the elk population, while also providing opportunities for hunting enthusiasts to enjoy this unique and challenging sport.

Mule Deer

If you’re lucky, catching a glimpse of a mule deer in the rolling hills of Kentucky is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Mule deer, also known as blacktail deer, aren’t native to Kentucky but have been introduced to the state.

They’re primarily found in the western part of the state, where the terrain is more mountainous and their preferred habitat of open grasslands and shrublands can be found.

As with elk, hunting regulations for mule deer in Kentucky are strict.

Only a limited number of permits are issued each year, and hunters must have a valid Kentucky hunting license as well as a mule deer permit.

Additionally, hunters may only take one mule deer per season and must adhere to strict bag limits and hunting seasons.

This is to ensure that the population of mule deer in Kentucky remains stable and sustainable.

Black-Tailed Deer

It’s not often that one comes across black-tailed deer in Kentucky, as they’re a non-native species introduced to the state for hunting purposes in the early 1900s.

These deer, also known as Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, are native to the western coast of North America.

Black-tailed deer thrive in forested areas and are commonly found in the Pacific Northwest.

In Kentucky, they prefer areas with a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees and can be found at elevations between 500 to 1,000 feet.

Despite being a non-native species, black-tailed deer have adapted well to their new environment and can be a thrilling sight for those lucky enough to spot them.

Hunting restrictions for black-tailed deer in Kentucky are similar to those for other deer species, with a limited hunting season and specific regulations regarding antler size and gender.

This unique habitat preference of black-tailed deer makes them stand out compared to other deer species in the state.

Discovering a black-tailed deer in Kentucky can be a rare and exciting experience.

Brian Koller

Growing up on a farm in eastern PA, I’ve grown fond of wildlife and the woods and learning about the critters and firewood and everything else in-between. I made this site to share my experiences and knowledge.

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