Nestled amid Kentucky’s autumn deer and small game seasons is a unique hunt in the Southeast, born of a restoration project years ago that has been quite successful and provides an extra opportunity for hunters.
Elk are the quarry, magnificent and returned to the Bluegrass State thanks to the release of the iconic animal through efforts by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department. The population is expected to top 10,000 this year, located in 16 counties in the eastern portion of the state.
The deadline to apply for a permit is midnight (Eastern time) on April 30 for antlerless and antlered archery and gun hunts. Residents and non-residents may apply. There is a $10 fee per permit application and, if you’re drawn, a Kentucky license will be required.
The state will issue 900 permits this year, an increase by 100 from last season. Success rates are high, with 93 percent of firearms hunters and 68 percent of archery hunters tagging out last season.
More than 4 million acres comprise the 16-acre elk zone, and about 500,000 acres are open to public hunting. It can be tough, with some challenging terrain in eastern Kentucky.
For information on the hunt and how to apply visit fw.ky.gov and click on the elk hunt logo.