Elk in a field

Elk Hunt Loyalty Redraw

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​​​​​​​​​​​​NEW IN ​2023!​​​



​The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources ​will conduct a secondary drawing of Elk Quota Hunt Permits each year to award unclaimed permits as a loyalty reward to long-time applicants. ​​​


This annual redraw is a value-added opportunity for those who have loyally submitted elk hunt applications for many successive years.​​

​Each year, some permits awarded in the drawing go unpurchased.  The Loyalty Redraw will randomly award these leftover permits to Kentucky residents who have applied to the elk hunt drawing the most consecutive years without ever being drawn. Long-time applicants will be automatically entered into the Loyalty Redraw.​


Hunters selected in the initial random drawing have until June 15 to purchase their permits. Any elk permit not purchased by this deadline will go into the Loyalty Redraw pool.


Currently, 74 applicants have put in every year since 2001 without being drawn, ​so these may have higher odds of obtaining a permit in 2023 if they reapply to the drawing again this year. Any applicants who are eligible for the Loyalty Redraw that isn’t drawn in 2023 will get the first dibs in this secondary drawing for leftover permits next year.

​​Annual Elk Quota Hunt Permit Applications

From January 1 to April 30, anyone may apply for a shot at one of the elk permits available through the Kentucky Elk Hunt Drawing. Individuals may apply for the three permit types: bull firearm, cow firearm, and either-sex archery or crossbow. Applicants ages 15 and under may also apply for special youth either-sex permits.

​Randomized Drawing

The Kentucky Elk Hunt Drawing is performed each year through a randomized electronic selection from among all applicants that year. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife takes several steps to ensure the drawing is fair and impartial and maintain public confidence.

  • The department contracts out the electronic drawing to the Commonwealth Office of Technology (the state's IT agency), which uses a unique number in place of each applicant's name and contact information to guarantee the drawing is "blind." After the drawing, names and contact information are matched back up with the winning numbers.
  • A third-party accounting firm selected through a competitive bid process then audits the results to ensure the drawing is performed as intended and results are compiled accurately.
  • The certified results are delivered to a separate external organization selected through a bid process to announce the results publicly.

Eligibility and Notification

Only Kentucky resident applicants are eligible for this secondary bonus drawing, but no reapplication is necessary. Instead, resident hunters with a history of the most consecutive years applying for an elk permit, including the current year, without previously drawing a permit, will be automatically included. A small proportion of hunters have applied every year of the elk hunt​ without ever being drawn.

Applicants selected for permits through the Loyalty Redraw will be promptly notified and will have until June 30 to purchase their elk hunt permit. Loyalty Redraw winners who don't purchase their permits will then go back into the general applicant pool. They will not, however, lose their opportunity to be drawn in the primary elk hunt permit drawing in the following years.

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To determine how many years you have applied to the Kentucky elk hunt drawing, visit My Profile and click "View All" next to "License History."

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Elk Hunt Unit Applications​​​

All permit holders will have until June 30 to apply for their preference of elk hunting units, as before. Those who don't apply for elk units will again be automatically assigned to units. Elk hunting units help ensure that hunting pressure is spread out over the entire 16-county, 4.3-million acre elk zone. This provides high-quality hunting opportunities regardless of zone.

For more information, review the Elk Quota Hunt Loyalty Redraw Regulations.