FRANKFORT, Ky. — Quota elk hunters can now apply for a new, either-sex archery/crossbow permit for Kentucky’s 2019 elk season.
“This new permit gives archery and crossbow hunters the freedom to choose whether to take a bull or a cow,” said Gabe Jenkins, elk program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
“We wanted to give hunters more flexibility and options to fill their permits,” he said. “Archery elk hunting is hard – and just getting an elk in range is a feat. This should increase the overall success rate for our archers and crossbow hunters.”
In addition to the new permit, which allows archery and crossbow hunters to take a bull or a cow, Kentucky will continue to offer its traditional quota elk hunt permits: gun hunts for a bull or a cow, and the youth permit. The cost is $10 to apply for each permit. While hunters may apply for multiple permits, they may be drawn for only one.
Kentucky began its elk restoration project in 2007. It now supports a herd of more than 10,000 animals, the largest state herd elk east of the Rocky Mountains. The state’s elk zone in southeastern Kentucky contains more acreage than Yellowstone National Park.
Kentucky’s annual drawing for quota elk hunts is open to out-of-state hunters. Kentucky does not employ a preference points system for its quota elk hunts, meaning everyone who applies has an equal chance of being drawn.
The deadline to apply is midnight (Eastern time) April 30. Apply online at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s website, fw.ky.gov, or wherever hunting licenses are sold. Names of drawn hunters will be released in mid-May.
For 2019, Kentucky will offer 594 elk permits through its quota drawing. This total includes 175 archery/crossbow permits for a bull or cow; 150 firearm permits for bulls; 244 firearm permits for cows; and 25 youth permits.
Elk seasons are split to spread out hunting pressure. Gun hunters are drawn for one of two firearms seasons. Elk seasons for 2019 include:
Bull Hunt 1: Sept. 28-Oct. 2
Bull Hunt 2: Oct. 5-9
Cow Hunt 1: Nov. 30-Dec. 4
Cow Hunt 2: Dec. 28-Jan. 1 (2020)
(Bull or cow)
Early season: Sept. 14-27
Late season: Dec. 7-13
For more information about hunting and fishing opportunities in Kentucky, visit the department website at fw.ky.gov.