An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Attention, Small Game Hunters
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHDV2) is a fatal disease in rabbits. It is classified as a foreign animal disease in the United States and is reportable to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture. For the first time in the U.S., this disease has been detected in wild rabbits. It has been detected in several states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah) across the Southwest.
At this time, it has
not been detected in Kentucky.
To prevent the introduction of this foreign animal disease into Kentucky, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is pursuing emergency regulations to ban the importation of any wild rabbits alive or dead (i.e. carcasses) into Kentucky.
Guidance for Rabbit Hunters:
The following animals are considered small game: squirrels, rabbits, northern bobwhite (quail) and grouse.
Only rabbits and squirrels may be trapped. Quail and grouse may not be trapped. Hunting bag limits apply. Trapping equipment and restrictions are the same as those listed in the furbearer section.
A trapping license is required for anyone 12 years of age and older.
Trappers must harvest squirrels and rabbits upon capture, unless they possess a captive wildlife permit from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. Seasons on WMAs and other public hunting lands not managed by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife may be different from statewide seasons. Individual area listings are available online
Q: Do I have to telecheck my small game?
A: No. However, you can help Kentucky Fish and Wildlife by filling out the hunter cooperator surveys for small game.
Resident and nonresident youth hunters and trappers ages 15 and younger may hunt and trap small game without a hunting or trapping license for seven consecutive days starting the Saturday after Christmas.
Hunter orange clothing must be worn by all hunters during the first weekend after Christmas, as youth hunters are also permitted to hunt deer with firearms at that time.
Youth hunters must comply with all equipment regulations and bag limits for small game when hunting or trapping. Hunter education is not required for license-exempt hunters. Adults accompanying youth hunters/trappers during the free youth hunting and trapping week do not need a license if they are not hunting/trapping.
The limit for this hunting method is two (2) of any small game or furbearer species per falconer per day, except during the fall and winter hunting season when the limits are the same as for other methods. Falconers must possess a falconry permit, which costs $75 and is valid for three years, as well as a valid Kentucky hunting license, unless license exempt, and obey all applicable state and federal laws.
Hunters may only use the following to take small game during the fall and winter seasons: