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Who are allowed to hunt?

Both residents and non residents of the state of Kentucky are allowed to hunt elk in Kentucky.  For most people, you have to enter a lottery and get drawn in order to buy an elk permit.  Of course, residents have a better chance of getting drawn and pay less for the permits.  Some Kentucky land owners with 5,000 acres of land enrolled with the Kentucky Wildlife Department in a hunting access agreement can obtain free elk permits that are transferable to any person eligible to hunt in Kentucky.

 

How much will it cost?

The  latest annual hunting license and elk permit costs are listed on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Website.   For 2016-17 season, a Kentucky resident pays $120 for both a hunting license and a bull elk tag after being drawn through the lottery while a non resident will pay $690.  If you are a non resident and don't want to pay that much for a chance at killing an elk, you may want to consider pursuing a cow elk tag or an Out-of-Zone tag.  In addition to the license and tag,  you will have travel expenses, lodging and food. There are various lodging options both inside and outside of state park areas.  For convenience and to keep your cost low, you may choose to camp near your hunting area.

 

What weapons can be used to kill elk?

Elk may be hunted with a modern rifle, a muzzleloader, a shotgun, a handgun, a bow or a crossbow.  The Legal Equipment for Elk Season section of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department's website provides details on the size and restrictions for each type of weapon.

 

When is Elk hunting season?

There are four types of tags that you can apply for in the Kentucky elk quota hunts.   They are bull firearms, bull archery or crossbow, cow firearms, and cow archery or crossbow.  The seasons will be slightly different each year.  You can find them on the Season Dates Search page of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department website.

 

Where are public lands open to hunting?

Elk hunting locations in Kentucky consist of "in the elk restoration zone" and "out of the zone".  The elk restoration zone is divided into North At- Large and South At-Large, and Limited Entry Areas (LEAs).  The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department has provided maps of public hunting areas.  If you have a smart phone, you may want to download the Kentucky Elk Hun ting Areas app.  You get to request which of the areas that you want to hunt.  It is the responsibility of the hunter to find a place to hunt within the area that they choose or is assigned to hunt.

 

How do I determine the best hunting locations?

There are several factors to consider in picking a hunting location.  The most important is to determine where the elk are located.  A good indicator is past year's harvest results.  Second is to find an area with acceptable terrain. Some of the public land is very hilly and rugged.  You will need to be able to walk to the hunting site and remove an elk when killed.  If you plan to camp, you may want to find an area with a convenient campground.  Some of this can be researched online but a trip to the area is best. 

   

Once you have been drawn for an elk tag and picked the best locations for hunting, you will need to provide your rank order of the 5 hunting locations.  The hunting location assigned to you will be determined by a hunting location drawing and your ranking of the locations.

 

Can I camp near the hunting area?

There exist Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Maps that provide limited camping data but the WMA office has more complete information.  Camping and parking is permitted within WMAs in designated areas.  If there are no designated parking areas, parking is generally permitted alongside maintained roads.  Once you know the area that you will be hunting, you will need to make a decision on lodging.  If you want to camp, you will need to call the WMA office to get information on camping availability at Kentucky Fish & Wildlife or other campgrounds within the area.