About Hunting in Kentucky

There are top quality fish and wildlife resources when used with responsible management, conservation and use. Many of these references are available through the sales of hunting and fishing and boater registration to support conservation education in Kentucky.

The beginning of the season starts Sept 5th with Archer and ends on January 18th, The first season for Elk begins Sept 26-30, 2020. These are some general information for this website. Deer quota hunts are held on 16 WMA, five state parks (Dale Hollow Lake, Greenbo Lake, Green River Lake, Kenlake and Kincaid Lake) and Otter Creek Outdoor recreation area. A maximum of 10 percent non resident dent can be drawn in each deer quota hunt pull.

Kentucky Hunting Seasons Offered

Big Game: Deer, Elk, Bear

Small Game: Squirrel, Rabbit

Bird: Turkey, Quail, Grouse

Other Species: Crow, Bullfrog, Groundhog, Turtles

kentucky deer hunting zones

Kentucky Deer Hunting Season Dates 2021

ArcherySept 5, 2020 –
Jan 18, 2021
Youth/ Senior
Sept 5. 2020-
Jan 18, 2021
CrossbowSept 19, 2020*
Jan 18 2021
MuzzleloaderOct 17- 18, 2020
& Dec 12- 20, 2020
Modern GunNov 14-29, 2020
kentucky bear hunting zones

Kentucky Bear Hunting Season Dates

SeasonDatesZoneBag limitNotes
Chase-onlyJune 1- Aug 31
and Sept 9-30, 2020
Wayne, Bell,
Harlan, Letcher,
2 West, 2 East, 3
11 bears for all
zones combined, once female is met zone closes
Quota Hunt with
Oct 19- Nov 1,
Wayne, Bell,
Harlan, Letcher,
2 West, 2 East,
13 bears
amongst all
zones listed
Oct 24- 30, 2020McCreary,
Wayne, Bell,
Harlan, Letcher,
2 West, 2 East
13 bears
amongst all
zones listed
Modern GunDec 12-18, 2020McCreary,
Wayne, Bell,
Harlan, Letcher,
2 West, 2 East,
22 Bears
amongst zones
Each zone has
about up to 2
female limit but
you can
combine each
zone with

Elk Season Hunting Dates

FirearmsSept 26- 30,
2020 and Oct 3-
7, 2020
Bull (antlered)
Nov 28- Dec 2,
2020 and Dec
26-30, 2020
Cow (antlerless)
Sept 12-15 and
Dec 5-11, 2020
Either Sex

Kentucky Hunting License

Purchase a license at : fw.ky.gov You will need your DOB and Social Security Number as well as the license must be carried at all times along with a picture ID.

To hunt deer you will also need an annual hunting license and a statewide deer permit.This applies to Turkey as well as birds.

Annual Hunting$27$150
Shooting Area License$5$5
Annual Combo Hunt/Fish$42N/A
Additional 2 deer$15$15
Spring Turkey (statewide) (2
Fall Turkey (statewide) (4
Elk Drawing$10$10

Kentucky Hunting News

Kentucky has gorgeous scenery ranging from forest to fields to even high elevation geography. It truly does fuel passion for the outdoors! There are many ways to get involved and give back to our beautiful country and state. If you need more information links are at the bottom of this page.

Located East of the Mississippi there is a herd of nearly a million deer that keeps the state at the top of prime destinations to reserve a spot! There is so much this state has to offer and youth are encouraged to join as well. Be sure to bring the entire family out and remember that safety always comes first, to ensure years to come for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Find a hunting guide

Kentucky hunting guides

Deer hunting guides

Elk hunting guides

Links to Official Sites

Buy license in Kentucky: fw.ky.gov.
Kentucky State Regulation Site: https://fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Pages/Quota-Hunts.aspx
Link to Kentucky PDF: https://fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Documents/HuntingGuideEntire.pdf