2018 Bear Seasons: The muzzleloader season for bears opens December 8 in zone 3 only. The modern gun season for bears opens December 15 in zones 1 and 2. Please call 800-858-1549 after 9pm EST each night of the season to determine if the season is open the following day.​ 
2019 Elk Hunt: Click here​ to receive email updates about applying for next year's Elk Hunt Drawing.

Elk Hunting On the Hunt

Getting into Range

  • Spotting and stalking. Start by locating elk with your binoculars or listening for bulls bugling. Close the distance by using the contours of the land and vegetation to hide your approach. This is the most common method for elk hunting with firearms, and the way most hunters take large bulls guarding a harem of cows.
  • Calling the animal into range. Most bowhunters try to call an elk into a comfortable shooting distance. If needed, have someone else call the elk into range for you. Position them behind you 10-20 yards -- further away from the elk you're calling to.  Remember to keep the wind in your face -- downwind of your target.  Elk have an excellent sense of smell and will spook easily.

Shot Placement

All of your planning pays off when you see a legal elk within range while hunting! After you determine that the elk is within range for your weapon, you must ensure that it is safe to aim and pull the trigger or release the string. Be certain of your target and that if your bullet or arrow misses or travels through the elk that it cannot hit an unacceptable target. NEVER shoot if you have any doubts! Elk are large animals, weighing 300-700+ pounds. Regardless of the size and power of the bullet or broadhead, elk can sustain multiple hits. If the animal continues standing after the first shot, shoot again until it falls. Don't shoot another animal instead!

Publications

Essentials of How to Hunt  Elk in Kentucky - Kentucky Afield Magazine Article