FRANKFORT, Ky. — How many people want to hunt the largest elk herd east of the Rocky Mountains? This year, on the 20th anniversary of Kentucky’s elk restoration project, it was enough to pack both the KFC Yum! Center and Louisville Slugger Field to capacity.
Kentucky received a record number of applications submitted by more than 35,000 people from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. Now it is time to learn who has won the highly sought-after opportunity.
The Commonwealth Office of Technology recently conducted an independent drawing to determine the winners and the type of permit to be issued. The Lexington-based accounting firm of Blue & Co. will attest to the validity of the results.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources received 79,768 applications this year for the 700 general and 10 youth quota elk hunting permits being offered.
The names of those selected for the quota hunts will be first revealed at a special event set for noon (Eastern time), May 15, at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. Admission is $5. The event will include vendors and giveaways for those in attendance. Visit the Mountain Arts Center website at www.macarts.com or call (606) 889-9125 for more information.
The Mountain Arts Center will broadcast the names of hunters selected live on Facebook for those unable to attend in person. To access the livestream, visit the center’s Facebook page at facebook.com/MountainArtsCenter.
Starting at 5 p.m. (Eastern time) that day, applicants also can visit the MyProfile link on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ website (fw.ky.gov) to check their status. Drawn hunters also will receive notification via a postcard from the department.
Kentucky offers firearms, archery and crossbow hunts for elk each year. Residents and nonresidents are eligible to apply for these quota hunts. The application period runs from Jan. 1 through April 30. Hunters can submit one application for each of the four permit types, but can only be drawn for one hunting permit.
At least 90 percent of elk permits are drawn for residents with up to 10 percent going to nonresidents. This year, 21,494 residents and 14,208 non-residents applied for an elk permit. Although hunters can apply for multiple permits, they may only be drawn for one permit.
Kentucky opened a season for elk in 2001 and now offers more elk hunting permits than all eastern states combined.