Fishing and Hunting Still Open:
Fishing and hunting for 2020 are still open per statewide seasons/regulations.  Licenses and permits to fish and hunt are required as usual.  Boat registrations may be renewed at county clerks offices by mail or drop-box.  Open-air sites such as public lakes/streams and wildlife management areas remain open.

State Offices Closed to In-Person Contact but Still Available to Help:
State offices and facilities are closed to in-person contact with the public to minimize health risks. Until further notice, please use this website, call us at 800-858-1549, or email for assistance. 

Additional Information
For the latest information on the novel coronavirus in Kentucky, please visit Coronavirus and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife: answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

License Requirements and Exemptions

All persons (residents and nonresidents) must fill out and carry the proper license and permit to fish any Kentucky waters or to hunt in Kentucky.  A trapping license is required of all resident and nonresident trappers ages 12 and older, including landowners/tenants unless otherwise provided by law.  Landowner/tenant trapping licenses are only valid for landowners, tenants or their dependents trapping on their own property.  A youth trapping license is available for resident trappers ages 12-15. Trappers under the age of 12 are not required to purchase a trapping license.

 A resident is any person who has established permanent and legal residence in Kentucky, and resided in Kentucky for 30 days prior to applying for a license, full-time students enrolled in an educational institution for at least six months, or military service personnel on permanent assignment in Kentucky.

A person who does not meet the definition of a Kentucky resident is considered a nonresident and must purchase nonresident licenses and permits. Nonresident  youth hunters are subject to the same requirements as resident youth hunters. A nonresident who owns land in Kentucky must purchase nonresident licenses and permits.

PAY LAKES (KRS 150.660) A person fishing in a pay lake licensed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources needs either a Kentucky fishing license or a free permit issued by the operator. If the lake is not licensed by the operator, anglers need a valid Kentucky fishing license.

The following do not have to have sport hunting or fishing licenses:

Resident and nonresident children under the age of 16 may fish without a license.

Resident and nonresident hunters under the age of 12 are not required to purchase hunting license or permits, except for the elk lottery application, elk quota hunt permit, out-of-zone elk permit and bear permit.

Resident owners of farmlands, their spouses and dependent children hunting or fishing on their lands. This also applies to tenants actually engaged in work and residing on farmlands, their spouses and dependent children. To be classed as a tenant, a person must both live and work on a farm.

Kentucky resident servicemen or women on furlough of more than three days, carrying proper identification and papers showing furlough status.

Residents or nonresident participating in a field trial authorized by the department are exempt from license requirements if game is not taken.

Hunters eligible to participate in the Free Youth Hunting and Trapping Week or Free Youth Deer Hunting Weekend, and adults who accompany a youth hunter but are not hunting themselves, are not required to have a license or permit during these seasons.

Persons fishing on the first Saturday and Sunday in June during Free Fishing Days are not required to have a license or permit

Persons fishing within the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park.

Hunting Method Exemptions

See the Hunting Method Exemptions page