License Requirements


Available to Kentucky residents only, the Sportsman’s License includes a combination hunting and fishing license, spring and fall turkey permits, statewide deer permit, state Migratory Bird-Waterfowl Permit and trout permit.

A federal duck stamp (available at post offices and online at is required for waterfowl hunting.


Resident and non-resident hunters under the age of 12 are not required to purchase licenses and permits, except for the elk drawing application.

Persons under 12 years old, who have passed a hunter education course, may hunt small game, furbearers and waterfowl without being accompanied by an adult.

Resident and non-resident hunters ages 12-15 are eligible to purchase discounted licenses and permits, which are valid for the entire license year, if purchased before the youth’s 16th birthday. Persons 15 years of age and under who hunt turkey, elk, deer or bear with a firearm must always be accompanied by an adult.

The Annual Youth Hunting license authorizes the holder to hunt all small game species and migratory bird species. Hunters 15 and younger are exempt from purchasing a state Migratory Bird-Waterfowl Permit, and a federal duck stamp.

A Youth Deer Permit allows the hunter to take one deer. A youth hunter may purchase a total of two Youth Deer Permits. To harvest more than two deer, a youth hunter must purchase an Additional Deer Permit.

The Youth Turkey Permit allows the hunter to take one turkey. The Youth Turkey Permits may be used during any turkey season.

The resident-only Youth Sportsman’s License includes a youth hunting license, two (2) youth deer permits and two (2) youth turkey permits.

During the Free Youth Hunting and Trapping Week, resident and nonresident hunters 15 and under may hunt or trap small game and furbearers without a license. All other regulations and limits apply.

Youth hunters who hunt deer or out-of-zone elk with a firearm during the Free Youth Deer Hunting Weekend are not required to have a deer or out-of-zone elk permit, but must be accompanied by an adult, and follow all other deer/elk hunting regulations.

Hunter education is not required for youth to participate in the Free Youth Deer Hunting Weekend, or the Free Youth Hunting & Trapping Week, but is strongly recommended.


A resident is any person who has established permanent domicile and legal residence and has resided in Kentucky for 30 days prior to buying a license, full-time students enrolled in an educational institution for at least six months, or military service personnel on permanent assignment in Kentucky.


A person who does not meet the definition of a Kentucky resident is considered a nonresident and must purchase nonresident licenses and permits. Nonresident youth hunters are subject to the same license and permit requirements as resident youth hunters. A nonresident who owns land in Kentucky must purchase nonresident licenses and permits.