Which License or Permit Do I Need?

The resident owner of farmlands, his spouse, or dependent children may hunt and fish on that property without obtaining a hunting or fishing license; tenants or their dependent children upon these farmlands shall have the same privilege.

Deer, elk, turkey and bear

Both an annual hunting license and an additional permit are required for hunters 12 and older. Hunters under 12 must purchase elk lottery applications.

Waterfowl and other migratory birds

In addition to a Kentucky hunting license (annual or short-term), permits are required for ages 16 and older as follows:

Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit: required to hunt dove, snipe, woodcock, moorhens, rails, gallinules, ducks, geese, coots and mergansers.   

Federal Duck Stamp: required in addition to the Kentucky Waterfowl Permit to hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requirement; available at post offices and online at www.duckstamp.com.

All other species

For hunters 12 and older, only a hunting license (annual, short-term, or a license that includes the hunting privilege) is required for everything else.   

Shooting area hunting license

A $5.00 shooting area hunting license is available to Kentucky residents and nonresidents online and at license agents. This license is for hunters who do not already possess a regular hunting license. The license is valid for one license year, and for one shooting preserve only (which must be indicated at the time of purchase.)


The following short-term licenses are valid for all types of hunting except deer, elk, turkey and bear. (Hunting those four species requires an annual hunting license along with the appropriate permit. Bear permits are available only to Kentucky residents.) Short-term licenses are valid only for the 1- or 5-day period shown on the license.

1-Day Hunting License: available to residents and nonresidents.

5-Day Hunting License: available only to nonresidents.