A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KDFWR reminding Kentucky hunters of April 30 deadline to apply for 2022 Kentucky Elk Hunt


Just a few days remain to apply for Kentucky’s premier big game hunting opportunity: the 2022 Kentucky elk hunt. Hunters have until midnight (EDT) April 30 to apply for the random drawing for one of nearly 600 permits being offered.

Beat the rush and apply online now at fw.ky.gov.

Why apply?

• Kentucky is home to the largest elk herd – and number of permits offered – east of the Rocky Mountains.

• If you’re a resident of the eastern United States, there’s no need to drive for days to a western destination to hunt elk.

• Whether you’re a new or experienced hunter, the random drawing makes hunting elk accessible to everyone.

Kentucky’s elk permit drawing system gives applicants equal opportunities of being selected. Last season, the odds of a resident hunter being drawn for a coveted firearms permit for bull elk was one in 175. Odds for a resident hunter being drawn for a firearms cow elk permit were even higher – one in 70.

(Photo form KDFWR)

Kentucky offers three types of permits through a randomized drawing open to residents and nonresidents. By state regulation, at least 90 percent of Kentucky’s elk permits are allotted to residents each year.

Proceeds from application fees help to support Kentucky’s elk management, research and public hunting access. Each application costs just $10. License purchase is not required to apply, but for those drawn an annual hunting license and the applicable elk permit are required to hunt.

Each applicant may apply for any of the three available permit types: firearms for bull elk, firearms for cow elk, and archery/crossbow for a bull or cow elk (either sex). In addition, youths age 15 or younger may also apply to a bonus allotment of 25 special youth-only permits, which are valid to harvest a bull or cow, during any season segment, and with any legal hunting equipment.

Applicants can draw only one permit per year, and those who have drawn must wait three years before they can apply again.

Kentucky is offering 594 elk permits through the 2022 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-only permits for a bull or cow.

The Commonwealth Office of Technology, the state’s information technology agency, conducts the Kentucky elk hunt drawing independently. Applicants are assigned unique numbers and their names are removed from the electronic applications for the computer drawing, thus guaranteeing a fair drawing.

A private accounting company audits the results of each year’s drawing. Results are certified for accuracy, and then delivered to the host of a live results-revealing event and to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife for notifying applicants.

Kentucky’s elk hunting zone encompasses more than 4.3 million acres across 16 southeastern counties. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife offers numerous public access areas for hunting. The Kentucky elk zone is split into elk units to distribute hunting pressure across the elk zone.

Kentucky’s elk hunt continues to achieve one of the top harvest rates among states with elk.

Discover your road map to elk hunting in Kentucky by visiting Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s elk hunting webpage at fw.ky.gov/elk.

Results will be revealed during a live event beginning at 11:30 a.m. May 14 at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. The results will be livestreamed on the Mountain Arts Center’s Facebook page and online at cmh23.com.

Full details about this special live results revealing event will be emailed to applicants. Results will be uploaded into applicants’ My Profile accounts at fw.ky.gov by no later than 5 p.m. on May 20.

From Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources


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