DATES, RESTRICTIONS AND HOW TO APPLY
HOW THE QUOTA HUNTS WORK
- Applications go on sale January 1 for the
next year’s Kentucky elk quota hunts.
Hunters must buy their elk quota hunt
applications before midnight Eastern
time on April 30.
- Elk quota hunt applications can only be
purchased online. A person
who does not have access to the department’s
website to apply for any quota
hunt may contact the department toll
free at 1-800-858-1549 (Monday-Friday,
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) for assistance.
- Residents and non-residents are eligible
to apply for elk quota hunts.
- Each application costs $10. Only individuals
may purchase elk applications,
not a party of hunters together.
- Hunters 15 years of age and under
may apply for a youth-only quota hunt
during the same application period as
for the regular elk quota hunt drawing.
- Applicants for this youth-only hunt
may also purchase elk applications for
the regular elk quota hunts. A youth
may not be drawn for the youth-only
quota hunt and the regular quota hunt
for elk in the same year, and if drawn
for the youth-only hunt, will be permanently
blocked from applying for
the youth-only hunt again.
- A random computer drawing is held
in May to select the drawn hunters.
Applicants may check to see if they
were drawn here in May.
- It is the hunter’s responsibility to find
a place to hunt in the area they choose
or are assigned to hunt. Hunters must
get landowner permission to hunt on
- There is no limit to the number of assistants
an elk hunter may take into
the field, but only the permit holder is
allowed to hunt.
- For the 2014-15 elk season, two
WMAs are designated Active Restoration
Areas, and are off limits to
elk hunting – Fishtrap WMA in the
North At-Large Area, and the southernmost
parcel of Corrigan WMA in
the South At-Large Area.
- Quota elk permits must be purchased
prior to hunting.
- Hunters drawn for a quota elk permit are required to buy an elk quota hunt permit in additon to an annual hunting license.
- Hunters awarded a bull elk permit will be blocked for three years from applying for another bull elk permit.
QUOTA HUNTS WITHIN THE ELK ZONE
The elk zone includes the following
16 counties: Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd,
Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Leslie,
Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary,
Perry, Pike and Whitley. Inside this
zone, elk may only be taken by hunters
drawn for a quota hunt as previously
described. All elk hunters must display
a department-issued hang tag in their
vehicles while hunting.
Elk may not be hunted over bait
on public or private lands within the
elk zone. However, it is legal to hunt elk
over bait outside the elk zone.
A person shall not mimic the sound
of an elk on public land open to elk
hunting from Sept. 1 until the opening
of the elk archery season.
Elk may only be hunted during daylight hours, from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
BAG LIMIT/HUNTER ORANGE
The season bag limit on elk is one
per hunter per season, regardless of permit
type. Hunters may not take an elk
during a quota elk hunt and also take
an elk out-of-zone during the same
season. Elk hunters and those who accompany
them, or any other person
hunting public or private lands in the
elk zone during firearm elk seasons,
must comply with the hunter orange
ELK HUNTING OUTSIDE
THE ELK ZONE
Elk may be taken from any county
outside the zone by hunters who possess
an annual Kentucky hunting license and
an out-of-zone elk permit. These hunters
must follow deer season and equipment
regulations, but are not required to
possess a deer permit.
CHECKING and TAGGING
All elk must be telechecked. Hunters
must call 1-800-245-4263 and report
the harvest. (See the General Information
section for details.)
A carcass tag is required if a harvested
elk leaves the hunter’s possession
for any reason.
LEGAL EQUIPMENT FOR ELK SEASON
- A modern rifle of .270 caliber or larger, with a magazine capable of holding no more than 10 rounds.
- A muzzleloading rifle of .50 caliber or larger.
- A muzzle-loading or breechloading shotgun no larger than 10-gauge, and no smaller than 20-gauge, firing a single projectile (slug, round ball, conical bullet or saboted bullet) only.
- A handgun with a barrel length of six (6) inches, or longer, with a bore diameter of .270 inches or larger, when firing a bullet, producing at least 550 ft/lbs of energy at 100 yards.
- Firearms 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.
- Archery and crossbow equipment that is legal for deer hunting (see the Deer Hunting section). Hunters 15 years old or younger and over 65 years of age may use a crossbow during all crossbow and archery seasons.
KENTUCKY'S TROPHY BULLS