Commercial Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator

​​NOTE:  Please allow six weeks to process your permit.  If after six weeks you still have not received your permit, please call 800-858-1549.


General Information

A Commercial Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator (NWCO) permit authorizes a person to take and transport specified wildlife at any time for commercial nuisance wildlife control purposes.

A permitted NWCO is not required to possess a valid trapping or hunting license unless they will sell the pelts of furbearers taken during an open season.   

A NWCO shall not take the following species without prior authorization from the commissioner:

  • Copperbelly water snake
  • White-tail deer
  • Elk
  • Black Bear
  • Wild Turkey

Issuance Cycle

Commercial Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator permits are valid from March 1st thru the last day of February the following year. 

Application Process

To obtain the Commercial Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators permit, a person shall:

  1. Be at least 18 years old;
  2. Pass a Department administered exam with a score of 70% or better;
    1. The exam is comprised of questions regarding:
      1. The statutes and regulations pertaining to commercial nuisance wildlife control and trapping
      2. The life history of commonly encountered nuisance wildlife species
      3. Wildlife sign and nuisance scenarios; what species is responsible
      4. Disease concerns with wildlife control
    2. Download study materials for the exam
    3. Please call 800-858-1549 to schedule a NWCO test.
  3. Submit a $100 application fee and completed Commercial Nuisance Wildlife Control Application; and
  4. Provide proof of completion of the Kentucky Hunter Education Program or a course offered by another jurisdiction that meets the course standards set by the International Hunter Education Association if you will use a firearm for nuisance control purposes. People born before January 1st, 1975 are not exempted as they are when hunting.
  5. For renewals only, file an Annual Activity Report with the Department of the previous year’s activity.

For business purposes, primary permittees may indicate partners or employees as sub-permittees on a single permit application; this allows for the submission of a single application, annual fee, and annual activity report per business each year. Importantly, sub-permittees must still pass the Department administered exam prior to being added to a permit.


301 KAR 3:120. Commercial nuisance wildlife control


Commercial Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators shall file an Annual Activity Report with the Department of the previous year’s activity. ​​