Harvested Deer, Elk, Turkey, Bear, Bobcat and Otter
The following regulations apply to all deer, elk, turkey, bear, bobcat and otter taken by hunters or trappers, including landowners and other license-exempt hunters.
All successful hunters, including
those who are license exempt, must fill
out a harvest log as soon as the animal
is taken and prior to moving the carcass.
Information that must be written on the
harvest log includes the species and sex
of animal taken, date and county where taken.
A telecheck confirmation number must be obtained and recorded on the harvest log.
A harvest log is on the back of any
paper license or permit. A printable harvest
log is available here.
License exempt hunters, youths
under 12 years of age, and those who
only have a license authorization number may create their own harvest log by
writing the information on a piece of
paper or index card.
Hunters and trappers must have the
completed harvest log in their possession
whenever afield during the current season.
Call 1-800-245-4263 (1-800-CHK-GAME)
- Call toll-free 1-800-245-4263 It’s in service 24 hours a day while seasons are open.
- Listen to each question carefully and provide the requested information using the keypad on any touch-tone phone. You will be asked to indicate the animal’s species and sex, type of equipment used, whether the land was private or public and what type of license you used (or if you are a landowner).
- Once your harvest information has been entered correctly, you will be asked to hold while the system submits your survey information. Be prepared to write down the confirmation number given by the system on the hunter harvest log for the animal you are checking in.
All deer, turkey, elk, bobcat and river otters harvested must be telechecked through the toll-free, automated check-in system. Hunters can either call 800-245-4263 to check in their harvest or use the online telecheck system.
Checking a harvested animal takes about five minutes. Entering false information is unlawful. Multiple animals may be telechecked during the same call.
Bears harvested during the modern gun bear season must be telechecked before leaving the check station. Hunters who harvest a bear during the archery-crossbow season or the bear quota hunt with dogs season must telecheck the bear by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day that it was harvested, and also call 1-800-858-1549 within 24 hours of harvest to arrange for a physical check of the animal and receive a tag issued by the department.
All other harvested animals must be telechecked by midnight on the day the animal is recovered and prior to processing the carcass.
Deer must be telechecked before removing the hide or head.
If the hide or head is removed from the carcass of a harvested elk before the animal is telechecked, the hunter must demonstrate proof of the sex of the elk.
Telecheck is available 24 hours a day while hunting seasons are open. Listen to each question carefully and provide the requested information using the keypad on any touch tone phone.
Callers will be asked their Social Security number and code for the county in which the animal was taken. All youth hunters must use their Social Security Number when telechecking an animal.
Callers must also indicate the animal’s species and sex. Deer hunters who take male fawns (button bucks) should check the deer as “male” and then choose “no visible antler” when prompted.
Q: Due to a cell phone dropped call, a hunter loses a confirmation number. Should the animal be checked in again?
A: Try again until you get the confirmation number, and then contact the department at 1-800-858 1549 the next business day to report the incident.
Next, callers will be asked about the type of equipment used to harvest the animal, whether the land was private or public, and the type of license they used. License choices may include: Statewide license, Senior/Disabled license, Landowner, Deer Control Tag, Trapping license, Elk permit or Out-of-Zone Elk permit.
Youths under 12, youths who check deer taken during the Free Youth Deer
Hunting Weekend, or license exempt military personnel should select “Statewide license.”
Once the harvest information has been entered correctly, the caller will be asked to hold for several seconds while the system submits the survey information. The hunter then will be given a confirmation number which is proof that the harvested animal was legally reported. This number must be recorded on the hunter’s log and retained throughout the season.
A hunter shall attach a handmade tag to the carcass of any
harvested deer, elk, turkey, bear, bobcat, or otter if transferring possession
of the harvested animal to another person.
For example, a carcass tag is required if the hunter gives
the animal to another person, drops it off to be processed, or takes the head
and cape to a taxidermist.
A harvested animal in a hunter’s possession is assumed to be
theirs, unless the carcass tag states otherwise. The carcass tag must include
the hunter’s name, phone number and telecheck confirmation number.
Hunters who harvest bears during the modern gun bear season must attach a department-issued carcass tag before leaving the check station. Hunters who harvest a bear during the archery-crossbow season must attach a department-issued carcass tag after having the bear inspected by department personnel.
Reminder: All hunters must fill out a hunter harvest log. Carcass tags are only required if the carcass leaves your possession.
A Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) tag, issued by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, must be attached to the raw fur, pelt or unskinned carcass of any bobcat or river otter taken in Kentucky, if the hunter or trapper intends to sell or export internationally.
Request a CITES tag online. Those without internet access may call 1-800-858-1549 weekdays from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, and provide the animal’s telecheck confirmation number.
CITES tags must immediately be attached to the animal or pelt per the instructions included with the mailed tag and remain with the pelt until it is processed. Possession of an unused bobcat or otter CITES tag is prohibited.
TRANSPORTING HARVESTED ANIMALS
Hunters bringing any deer or elk, or parts of deer or elk, into Kentucky shall have proof that the animal was legally harvested elsewhere and shall do so in compliance with the carcass importation law.
An unchecked animal taken in Kentucky may not be transported out of Kentucky.
Furs and hides may only be sold to a licensed fur buyer, fur processor of taxidermist.