Fish and Wildlife regulations amended

​​​​​FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2023) - In accordance with KRS 150.025, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is providing updated information about proposed fish and wildlife-related regulation amendments that have received final legislative approval and are now in effect.​​

​​The following is an overview of changes:​

301 KAR 2:015 – Feeding of wildlife​​

This regulation establishes restrictions on the feeding of wildlife that will serve to protect wildlife from disease and toxic substances that could cause harm to wildlife populations if left unregulated.​​

The amendment corrected language that was filed to establish specific feeding and baiting restrictions in a Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Surveillance Zone or Management Zone county and inadvertently added to the broader definition of feeding. The regulation is now clarified that feeding of wildlife is prohibited statewide only from March 1 through July 31, and that use of salt and minerals for wildlife is permissible year-round except in counties designated in the state’s CWD response.​​

Surveillance Zone counties are listed in the Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide and on the department’s website ( At this time, the disease has not been found in the state. A Management Zone would only be established if CWD was detected in Kentucky.​​

301 KAR 2:090 – Means by which migratory game birds may be taken​​

​​This regulation establishes means by which migratory game birds may be taken to remain consistent with federal migratory bird hunting frameworks established in 50 CFR Parts 20 and 21 promulgated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

​​The amendment added descriptions of the type of shotgun shells which may be used to harvest waterfowl. This provision, with no changes, is being moved from 301 KAR 2:222, as the language is more appropriately outlined in this regulation because the rules apply to waterfowl hunting statewide and not just on public lands. This amendment is a “clean-up” item.

301 KAR 2:144 – Fall wild turkey hunting

This regulation establishes season dates and other requirements during the fall wild turkey hunting season for the effective management of the species.​​

The amendment adjusts limits on taking wild turkeys during fall hunting seasons, including a reduction in bag limit and the addition of a distance-from-bait hunting requirement.​​

The harvest limit for fall turkey hunting is now two legal birds. Hunters may harvest one bird with a beard 3 inches or longer and one bird with no visible beard (or a beard shorter than 3 inches). In addition, fall turkey hunters shall not harvest a turkey within 600 feet of a baited site nor for 30 days after bait has been removed. The prohibition does not apply to bona fide agricultural practices or planted food plots.​​

301 KAR 2:219 – Repeal of 301 KAR 2:224 and 301 KAR 2:226

​​This regulation was created to repeal 301 KAR 2:224 and 301 KAR 2:226 because the pertinent requirements for the taking of waterfowl within the frameworks established by 50 CFR Parts 20 and 21 have been incorporated into 301 KAR 2:221.

301 KAR 2:221 – Waterfowl seasons and limits

​​This regulation establishes waterfowl seasons and bag limits within federal migratory bird hunting frameworks established in 50 CFR Parts 20 and 21.

​​The amendment changed the closing date for falconry waterfowl season to the last Sunday in February for all species of waterfowl. It removed reference to conservation order light geese seasons as federal rules no longer differentiate between falconry and regular hunting methods during the conservation order. It also corrected a grammatical edit which could be taken to make it illegal for veterans to hunt waterfowl during regular seasons.

301 KAR 2:225 – Dove, wood duck, teal and other migratory game bird hunting​​

This regulation establishes the requirements for the taking of migratory game birds within federal frameworks established in 50 CFR Parts 20 and 21.​​

The amendments created two zones for Canada goose hunting in September. The Eastern Zone retains a Sept. 16-30 hunting season. The Western Zone season is Sept. 1-15. It also allows the department to implement “mentored hunter” hunts and youth dove hunts and quota/limited access dove hunts. Quota dove hunts will be held at Big Rivers WMA and Kentucky River WMA. Any hunter may apply online from the first Monday in August through the third Friday in August. Selected hunters are required to complete a post-hunt survey after their hunt, which will be provided to them by the department.​​

​​301 KAR 2:228 – Sandhill crane hunting requirements

This regulation establishes sandhill crane seasons, bag limits and requirements on public lands within federal migratory bird hunting frameworks established in 50 CFR Parts 20 and 21.​​

​​The amendment removed the requirement for leg tags on harvested cranes to be metal. Hunters will be issued printable tags attached to hunting permits, accessible through the online sandhill crane app at Hunters selected in the quota drawing for crane permits will now be able to print their crane leg tags when desired from the convenience of home after completing their online crane identification quiz and printing their crane permits, and will no longer have to wait to receive leg tags by mail before hunting.

​​301 KAR 2:245 – Wanton waste and disposal of big game and upland game birds

​​This regulation establishes requirements for the recovery and removal of certain portions of big game animals and upland game birds that hunters take or attempt to take when hunting as well as establishes rules for carcass disposal.

​​It prohibits wanton waste of animals taken and establishes requirements for the disposal of carcasses. All hunters are required to make reasonable efforts to recover big game and upland game birds that they have taken. Hunters must remove from the field, at minimum, the edible parts of healthy animals recovered, including the following portions if suitable for processing and consumption after take and recovery: quarters and outer loins for deer, bear, elk; and breast meat for wild turkey, northern bobwhite quail and ruffed grouse. Hunters must also properly dispose of the carcasses of animals taken.

301 KAR 2:300 – Black bear seasons and requirements​​

This regulation establishes black bear chase and hunt seasons, bear hunting areas, legal methods of take, and permitting, checking and recording requirements.​​

​​The amendments allow non-resident hunters to engage in the bear chase and bear hunt with dogs seasons after obtaining the proper permit(s). Additionally, the amendments clarify what licenses and permits are necessary to participate in each type of bear season. Anyone participating in a bear chase cast must possess a valid bear chase permit, and those attempting to harvest bears must possess a valid bear permit.

For compete details, including pricing, please consult the 2023-24 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide, available online at​​

​​301 KAR 3:120 – Commercial nuisance wildlife control

​​This regulation establishes the requirements for commercial nuisance wildlife control permits and nuisance wildlife control operators.

The amendment improves training requirements for nuisance wildlife control operators, limits movement of rabies vector species, requires dispatch of exotic species and clarifies the legal use of poison on wildlife. It also serves to limit potential spread of disease and exotic species and improve training for nuisance wildlife control operators.​​

​​301 KAR 4:110 – Administration of drugs to wildlife

This regulation prohibits the administration of drugs to wildlife and creates the necessary exceptions. These processes are necessary to provide for the health and welfare of native wildlife and the safety of Kentucky citizens.​​

​​The amendments improve oversight on parties administering drugs to wildlife, providing further protections to wildlife, and also improves health and human safety in regard to non-captive native wildlife.​​​

The amendments were necessary to conform with recent changes to 301 KAR 2:075 and accurately harmonize the two regulations. KRS 321.185, which requires a vet-patient-client relationship, was recently included in amendments to 301 KAR 2:075 to provide clear and concise guidelines to wildlife rehabilitators.​​


​​301 KAR 5:001 – Definitions for 301 KAR Chapter 5​​

​​This regulation establishes definitions for terms used within 301 KAR, Chapter 5.​​

Changes are being made to other regulations in 301 KAR, Chapter 5 to include terms that need to be defined. Terms that are no longer applicable were removed and additional terms that are to be utilized have been included.​​


301 KAR 5:010 – License agent applications and agreements​​​​

This regulation establishes the methods for application and operation of license agents and is necessary to create a network of license agents to partner with the department to facilitate the sale and distribution of the department’s licenses, permits, and other items sold by the department.​​​​

​​The amendment established updated contractual language for license agents as well as fund transfer authorizations.


301 KAR 5:020 – License agent requirements and responsibilities​​​​

​​This regulation establishes procedures for agents of the department to sell and issue the department’s licenses and permits and is necessary to define legal sales parameters to protect the interests of agents, customers and the department in implementing 301 KAR, Chapter 5.​​

Among other changes, the amendment replaces a 50-cent commission on all license and permit sales that agents previously received from the department as a sales commission with a 3-percent issuance fee. The change is aimed at helping license agents better cover costs incurred from the issuance of licenses and permits and helping the department offset some of its license issuance costs. The issuance fee, which will be charged whether at a local retailer license agent or the department’s online sales portal, will be visible at license checkout and on customers’ receipts.​​​​

​​At checkout, the 3-percent issuance fee would amount to 36 cents on the purchase of a $12 Senior/Disabled Sportsman’s License, 81 cents for the $27 resident annual hunting license, 69 cents for the $23 resident annual fishing license, $1.05 on the $35 resident statewide deer permit and 30 cents on the $10 resident youth deer permit.​​

301 KAR 5:022 – License, tag and permit fees​​

This administrative regulation establishes fees and terms for licenses, permits and tags sold by the department.​​​​

​​The amendment aligns the regulation with 301 KAR 2:300 as to mirror the creation of a resident combination bear permit, a nonresident bear chase permit, a nonresident youth bear chase permit and a nonresident youth bear permit; changes the expiration date for commercial guide licenses from calendar year to license year to match hunting license expiration dates; and establishes the price of a Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s License to conform with language in KRS 150.175. Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s Licenses (for anyone age 65 or older at a price of $180) and the new bear permits are available from the department online and at license agent locations statewide.


For updated information about proposed and recently enacted amendments to administrative regulations, visit​​​​

​​Another way to stay abreast of changes to administrative regulations is to sign up with RegWatch, a free service that enables users to register to be notified of changes to existing administrative regulations or to receive notice of newly-proposed regulations. Notifications are sent for four years after initial sign-up. More information about the service is available via the KAR FAQs online at​.


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