Your Questions about Kentucky Elk Hunting
For the 2013 Elk Season:
Applicants may choose to apply for a bull or a cow and choose to use
archery/crossbow equipment or firearms. In addition, a person may apply
for up to 2 of 4 tag types:
Antlered (“bull”) firearms (includes muzzleloaders)
Antlered (“bull”) archery/crossbow
Antlerless (“cow”) firearms (includes muzzleloaders)
Antlerless (“cow”) archery/crossbow
A person may not apply twice for 1 tag type, but can apply for 1 or 2 tag types.
Each application costs $10. (in other words, a person cannot apply twice for a
bull firearms tag, but can apply for a bull firearms and a bull
archery/crossbow, for a total cost of $20. Similarly, if a youth chooses to
apply for the special youth-only hunt, bull firearms and cow firearms, he would
spend a total of $30).
Youth under 16 and seniors 65 or over, and persons with a crossbow method
exemption may hunt with a crossbow during the entire archery season.
There will be a 2-week archery-only season for bulls in September.
A total of 33,675 individuals applied at least once for last year’s lottery
(2012 hunt). Many opted to apply for 2 tag types, for a total number of
59,672 applications. No more than 10% of the total number of tags issued can go
to non-residents. The odds of getting drawn for each tag type were:
1 in 151
1 in 702
1 in 30
1 in 98
1 in 79
1 in 558
1 in 13
1 in 67
How can you apply for an elk hunt?
Applicants can only purchase their
quota hunt application through the department’s secure license sales webpage by
clicking this link:“Purchase
Licenses Here". On this page, under "Select a Hunting and Fishing License
Year", please choose "Next - March 1, 2013 - February 28, 2014". If you do not have a credit card, you may purchase a prepaid
debit card at a bank or large retail store. Although the elk lottery costs $10,
processing fees may apply, so be sure to add a few extra dollars when loading
You cannot apply for the elk lottery at
Only individual permits are awarded; no
group applications are accepted.
How much does it
cost to apply?
It costs only $10 to apply. Adult
hunters may apply for up to 2 tag types. Youth may also enter a separate
lottery for the youth-only Paul Van Booven hunt.
What is the deadline
Midnight Eastern standard time, April 30.
How do you know if
you have been drawn?
On our website, enter your social
security number and birth date to see if you were drawn. You may also call our
Information Center at 1-800-858-1549 for assistance. The Information Center is
open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.
When will you know
whether you’ve been drawn?
Results of the elk draw will be posted
on the department’s web site in early May.
How do you hunt
elk in Kentucky?
Click here for an article on the essentials of elk hunting and Click here
for an article on the Ten Tips for Archery Elk Hunters. These informative
articles ran in Kentucky
the official magazine of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
How are hunters
Hunters are picked at random by a
computer. The youth-only lottery will be conducted before the other
regular lotteries. Youth drawn for those permits cannot be drawn for one of the
4 regular tag lotteries. The lottery for the bull firearms tags will
conducted first, followed by bull archery/crossbow, cow firearms, and cow
archery. Once a hunter is selected for a tag, if that hunter also entered
the lottery for another tag type, his or her name will automatically be
ineligible for the later lottery (in other words, a hunter cannot be drawn
Do you stand a
better chance of being drawn if you’ve applied before?
No. Hunters applying for the first
time, who have applied previously, or who have been selected for a previous hunt
all have an equal chance to be picked. There is no preference or bonus point
system for Kentucky elk hunts.
Can you apply for
the elk hunt drawing if you live outside of Kentucky?
Yes, non-residents are eligible for the
elk hunt drawing.
New for 2013: 10 youth-only either-sex permits will be drawn for the 2013-14 elk
season. These permits are special because these 10 youths will be allowed to
hunt during all of the elk seasons, rather than being limited to any one week or
season. These permits can be used anywhere within the at-large portion of the
elk zone. If a youth wants to hunt within an LEA, he or she must apply for that
LEA during the secondary draw. If drawn, the youth will be limited to that LEA
only for all elk seasons.
Youth hunters must apply for the Youth Elk
the Web site of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. It costs
$10 to apply. The drawing is open to Kentucky residents and non-residents.
When you apply online, the youth hunt
option does not appear immediately. You must enter a valid birth date for this
option to appear.
Currently, youth-only quota hunt drawing is open to any
applicant who will be less than 16 years old by the first day of the hunt. All youth hunters should have the size, strength and maturity to
safely handle and shoot a firearm, bow or crossbow. An adult must accompany any
youth firearms elk hunter and be in the position to take immediate control of
Youth hunters may also apply for the general elk hunt by paying
an additional $10 application fee online athttps://fw.ky.gov/license/olpsintro.aspx.
A total of 925 youth hunters applied for the 5 special youth only tags (2012
Hunt). The odds of a youth getting drawn for the special youth only hunt were 1
and 185 applicants.
If you are drawn
for a quota hunt elk permit, can you give it or sell it to anyone else?
No. These are non-transferable.
Do you have to buy
a hunting license before you apply?
No. You can buy your hunting license at
any time – as long as you have a valid license and permit when you are actually
in the field hunting.
What other permits
are required if you are drawn for an elk hunt?
residents: All Kentucky residents aged 12 and older drawn for an elk hunt,
must purchase an elk permit ($30). In addition, anyone over the age of 15 must
purchase an annual hunting license ($20). Youths 12-15 years old must purchase a
youth hunting license ($5), while youths under the age of 12 do not need a
Non-residents: All out-of-state hunters drawn for an elk permit, except youth
hunters under the age of 12, must buy an elk permit ($365). In addition, anyone
over the age of 15 must purchase an annual non-resident hunting license ($130).
Youths 12-15 years old must purchase a youth hunting license ($5).
Where are the elk
Kentucky’s free-ranging elk herds are
located in the eastern and southeastern portions of the state. Nearly all the
elk are located within Kentucky’s 16-county Elk
How do you find a
spot to hunt?
New for 2013: All drawn hunters should
consider whether or not they want to hunt within one of the 3 limited entry
areas. If interested, hunters can apply for up to 3 LEA choices online
(the deadline will be in July; the exact date will be posted with your drawing
for an overview of the 3 limited area locations and other elk related maps.
Hunters drawn for an LEA may only hunt
within that LEA. Hunters who are not drawn for an LEA or who choose not to apply
for an LEA may hunt anywhere else within the elk zone (“at-large”), either on
public land or on private land they’ve been given permission to hunt by the
landowner. Please explore our public lands information pages and maps for more
information on WMAs open for at-large elk hunting as well more info on the areas
available within LEAs.
Those drawn for a tag will be provided
a list of licensed elk guides. Please contact guides early, as some do operate
inside LEAs and you must be drawn for that LEA in order to hunt with a guide
inside an LEA.
Can you use an ATV
for an elk hunt?
No vehicles, including ATVs
(all-terrain vehicles), can be taken off a maintained road on any Wildlife
Management Area. ATVs are not allowed on WMAs. ATVs can otherwise be used for
elk hunting, with permission from the landowner.
How can you
retrieve an elk if it’s downed in an inaccessible area?
Hunters are responsible for retrieving
their own game. Sometimes this requires quartering an elk to bring out the meat.
The animal must be telechecked before doing this. Click
here for an article on how to quarter an elk. This informative article
ran in Kentucky
the official magazine of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
What weapons are
allowable for elk?
Modern rifles chambered for .270
caliber or greater, muzzleloaders of .50 caliber or greater, high-powered
handguns, shotguns of 20 gauge or larger firing slugs, crossbows and bows. For
more detailed information, click onto this link:http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/kar/301/002/132.htm
You may use archery equipment or
crossbows during the appropriate seasons if you are drawn for an
When are the elk seasons?
These seasons are proposed by the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission,
and must be approved by legislators before being finalized. Be sure to check the
2013 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide for finalized season dates. The guide
will be available in July.
Archery-only, bull only (no crossbows
during this period except youth or exemptions): Sept 21 – Oct 4
Firearms bull week 1: Oct 5 - 11
Firearms bull week 2 : Oct 12 - 18
Either sex archery and crossbow: Oct 19
- 20; Nov 9 – Dec 13; Dec 28 - 31
Either sex archery only: Oct 19 – Dec
13 ; Dec 28 – Jan 20, 2014
Firearms cow week 1: Dec 14 - 20
Firearms cow week 2: Dec 21 -27
Youth-only: all of the above seasons
(Bull or cow)
Please note: A firearms hunter may only
hunt during the 7 day season for which he is drawn. He or she may NOT continue
hunting with a bow or crossbow outside of that week.
An archery or crossbow hunter may NOT
hunt during the 4 firearms weeks.
A cow archery/crossbow hunter may not
hunt during the 1st 2 weeks of the season in Sept.