All persons (residents and nonresidents) must fill out and carry the proper
license and permit to fish any Kentucky waters or to hunt in Kentucky. A trapping
license is required of all resident and nonresident trappers ages 12 and older,
including landowners/tenants unless otherwise provided by law. Landowner/tenant
trapping licenses are only valid for landowners, tenants or their dependents trapping
on their own property. A youth trapping license is available for resident trappers ages 12-15. Trappers under the age of 12 are not required to purchase a trapping license.
A resident is anyone who has established permanent and legal residence in Kentucky
and resided here at least 30 days immediately prior to applying for a license. Full-time
students enrolled in an educational institution for at least a six-month term and
service personnel on permanent assignment in Kentucky are also classified as residents.
All others are considered non-residents for licensing purposes.
Those who do not meet the definition of a Kentucky resident are required to purchase nonresident licenses and permits. Nonresident youth hunters are subject to the same license and permit requirements as resident youth hunters.
PAY LAKES (KRS 150.660) A person fishing in a pay lake licensed
by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources needs either a Kentucky
fishing license or a free permit issued by the operator. If the lake is not licensed
by the operator, anglers need a valid Kentucky fishing license.
The following do not have to have sport hunting or fishing licenses:
Resident and nonresident children under the age of 16 may fish without a
Resident and nonresident children under the age of 12 are not required to purchase
hunting license or permits, except the elk lottery application, elk quota hunt permit,
out-of-zone elk permit and bear permit.
Resident owners of farmlands, their spouses and dependent children hunting or
fishing on their lands. This also applies to tenants actually engaged in work and
residing on farmlands, their spouses and dependent children. To be classed as a
tenant, a person must both live and work on a farm.
Kentucky resident servicemen or women on furlough of more than three days, carrying
proper identification and papers showing furlough status.
Residents or nonresident participating in a field trial authorized by the department
are exempt from license requirements if game is not taken.
Hunters eligible to participate in the Free Youth Hunting and Trapping
Week or Free Youth Deer Hunting Weekend, and adults who accompany a youth hunter
but are not hunting themselves, are not required to have a license or permit during
Persons fishing on the first Saturday and Sunday in June during
Free Fishing Days are not required to have a license or permit
Persons fishing within the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park.
Hunting Method Exemptions
See the Hunting Method Exemptions page