An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
The tables below provide a quick overview of current licensing requirements. See the rest of this section for exemptions and complete residency, licensing and hunter education requirements. Licenses and permits for species below are not required for children younger than 12.
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Deer Zones in Kentucky
Bag limits and harvest restrictions apply to all hunters. A person may take no more than one (1) deer with visible antlers, excluding male fawns (button bucks), regardless of zone, method or season.
However, on some federally controlled areas, including Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Campbell and Fort Knox military reservations and Blue Grass Army Depot, a bonus antlered deer may be taken, as determined by the governing agency for each area.
Only one antlered deer per hunter may be harvested statewide, regardless of zone, method or season.
Only one antlered deer may be harvested statewide,regardless of zone or method
We would like to age your harvested female deer. Please upload images of the lower LEFT SIDE of the jaw bone of your harvested doe with the
Jaw Bone Submission Survey.
Hunters who buy their license or permit by phone or internet must carry while hunting: a picture ID and proof of purchase (an authorization number, paper license or computer printout). Paper licenses/permits must be signed and all information completed before hunting.
To take more than four deer, an additional deer permit must be purchased. The additional deer permit allows a hunter to take up to two additional deer beyond those allowed by the statewide permit in the following combinations: one antlered and one anterless, or two antlerless. Regardless of what permit a deer hunter carries, the statewide season limit for antlered deer is one per hunter. The additional deer permit is not valid unless the hunter has first purchased an annual hunting license and statewide deer permit and is able to show proof of that in the field. A statewide or additional deer permit may be used on public and private land, and during some quota hunts.
Hunters and people accompanying them must wear solid, unbroken hunter orange color visible from all sides on the head, back and chest when hunting for any species during the modern gun, muzzleloader, and youth firearm deer seasons, or a firearm elk or bear season. However, hunter orange is not required when hunting waterfowl or doves during a gun deer, elk or bear season, or when hunting furbearers at night during a legal furbearer season.
During modern gun deer season, hunters may hunt with modern guns, including air guns of .35 caliber or larger charged by an external tank, muzzleloaders, and archery and crossbow equipment, and must follow season restrictions, zone guidelines and other hunting requirements.
All hunters, including archery and crossbow hunters, and persons accompanying hunters, must wear hunter orange clothing during modern gun season.
Persons ages 15 and younger hunting deer with a firearm must be accompanied by an adult who shall be in a position to take immediate control of the youth's firearm at all times.
Hunters using archery equipment during a deer firearms season must follow all firearm season restrictions, zone guidelines and other hunting requirements, and must wear hunter orange clothing.
The only exception is on
state owned or managed WMAs where firearms hunting for deer or elk is prohibited.
Hunters using crossbows during a deer firearms season must follow all firearm season restrictions, zone guidelines and other hunting requirements, and must wear hunter orange clothing.
A legal resident hunter age 65 years or older or a youth hunter (resident or non-resident), age 15 or younger, may hunt deer with a crossbow from the first Saturday in September through the third Monday in January.
Muzzleloaders, archery and crossbow equipment may be used during this season.
All hunters must comply with the hunter orange clothing law.
Youths ages 15 and younger hunting deer with a muzzleloader must be accompanied by an adult who shall remain able and in a position to take immediate control of the youth’s muzzleloader at all times.
Construction and use of tree stands on private lands is regulated by landowners.
All deer must be telechecked . Hunters must call 1-800-245-4263 or complete the
online check-in process through My Profile. See the “Recording, Checking, Tagging and Transportation” portion of this guide's "General Information" section for full details.
If the hide or head is removed before the harvested deer is checked in – to quarter the animal, for example – it is necessary to demonstrate proof of sex by retaining the head or keeping the genitalia attached to the carcass. In such cases, it is still necessary to fill out the harvest log immediately after harvest and telecheck the animal before midnight on the day the deer is harvested or recovered.
A carcass tag is required if a harvested deer leaves the hunter’s possession for any reason.
The state of Kentucky prohibits the transportation from any other state or country into or through Kentucky any brain matter or spinal column from deer, elk, moose and caribou due to the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease transmission. This includes transporting entire carcasses or heads through Kentucky. Here is what can and cannot be brought into Kentucky.
Counties Included:Calloway, Marshall, Graves, Hickman, and Fulton
Deer Hunting FAQ's
Hunter (Blaze) Orange Requirements
Proper Deer Equipment
Standard Field Dressing
Field Quartering and Butchering