elk bugling

Elk Hunting In Kentucky



Results of the 2022 Elk Hunt Drawing will be revealed Saturday, May 14 at 11:30 a.m (Eastern)!

Watch the livestream of the reveal here:

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​With more than 10,000 elk in its herd, Kentucky offers more elk hunting opportunity than any other eastern state. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is offering 594 general quota permits for the 2022 elk hunting season. The annual application period begins January 1 and ends April 30 each year. Click here to apply. Kentucky awards a maximum of 10% of its permits to non-residents each year, and because there is no points system in Kentucky, all hunters have an equal opportunity to draw a permit. Hunters are prohibited from applying for any Kentucky quota elk hunt for the following three years once selected for a quota elk permit.


 
 
 

Available Elk Permits

Drawn Permits: There are 594 permits available through the drawing for the 2022 elk hunting season: 150 bull firearms, 244 cow firearms, 175 either-sex archery/ crossbow, and 25 youth permits for a bull or a cow.

Landowner-Cooperator Permits: Kentucky Fish and Wildlife awards transferrable either-sex elk hunting permits to landowners who allow public hunting on their property. The department issues 1 permit for every 5,000 acres enrolled. These permits may only be used on property the landowner has enrolled into the program, or any adjacent private property that is owned by a different landowner (with written permission). A full list of landowner-cooperator permit recipients may be obtained by submitting an Open Records Request here.

Voucher-Cooperator and Elk Restoration Permit Program Highlights

Voucher-Cooperator Permits: Landowners who wish to obtain an elk permit but otherwise don’t meet the acreage requirements of the landowner-cooperator program may enroll in the voucher-cooperator program. Landowners determine the amount and timing of access for elk hunting and are then assigned general quota hunters through an online drawing. Landowners receive a point for each elk harvested from their property, and are awarded a transferrable either-sex elk permit upon accruing 10 points (points rollover year-to-year). These permits are valid on any property owned or leased by the landowner, and the minimum acreage requirement to enroll is 100 acres. A full list of voucher-cooperator permit recipients may be obtained by submitting an Open Records Request here.

Interested in earning an elk permit to use on your property? Click here.

Elk Restoration Permit Program: Landowners who do not wish to allow hunting access on their property or those who fail to meet the acreage requirements of the voucher-cooperator or landowner-cooperator programs may still be eligible to obtain a Kentucky elk permit through this program. Landowners receive one point for each elk trapped from their property for a restoration project, and are awarded a transferrable either-sex permit upon accruing 10 points (points rollover year-to-year). These permits are valid on any property owned or leased by the landowner. A full list of elk restoration permit recipients may be obtained by submitting an Open Records Request here.

Interested in earning an elk permit to use on your property? Click here.

Commission Permits: Kentucky Fish and Wildlife may award up to 10 either-sex elk permits to eligible 501C3 organizations each year. These permits are valid on any public or private property (with permission) in the elk management zone. All money generated from the transfer of the permit must be used to benefit conservation in Kentucky. Interested 501C3 organizations may apply here. A full list of Commission permit recipients may be obtained by submitting an Open Records Request here.

Kentucky Elk Management Zone

Kentucky’s elk management zone is 4.1 million acres in size and includes the 16 most southeastern counties in the state. The management zone is divided into 7 different elk hunting units, but only 6 are currently open for elk hunting. Hunters that are successful in drawing a permit will have the opportunity to apply for a particular elk hunting unit in a secondary area drawing.

EHU Overview​​​