KY Hunting Season

John Lewis

2024 Kentucky Hunting – New Seasons, Permits & Guide!

kentucky, kentucky hunting season 2023, Kentucky Hunting Seasons, KY Hunting Seasons

Kentucky‘s forests are home to a wide variety of wildlife, from Deers, Coyote and bears to Goose, Teal ducks, and turkeys. Some of the KYDFWR properties include the Blue Grass Army Depot, Fort Campbell Military Reservation, and Fort Knox Military Reservation. In this page find complete hunting regulations, dates, licenses and permits you’ll need to go outdoor.

Kentucky Hunting Seasons




Free Youth Week






Raccoon and Opossum




Other furbearers

Upland Birds




Migratory Birds








Duck, Coot, Merganser
Wood Duck
Sandhill Crane
Youth Waterfowl
Canada Goose
Cackling, White-fronted & Snow Goose & Brant
Light Goose Conservation Order
Bag Allowances

Falconry Season

Game Licenses

In certain situations, additional permits, such as a state-issued permit or to shoot birds, are required in Kentucky. Obtaining one is easy at; just remember to carry a photo ID, driver’s license, Social Security card, and your date of birth whenever you go in the wild.

Annual$150.00 $27.00
1-DayNot applicable for deer, elk, turkey, or bear$25.00 $7.00
7-DayNot applicable for deer, elk, turkey, or bear$65.00 Not available
Annual Y (12-15) Ages 12-15$10.00 $6.00
Shooting Area$5.00 $5.00
Annual$130.00 $20.00
YouthAges 12-15$5.00
Combo Sportsman
Annual Combination includes fishing$42.00
SeniorResidents 65 years or older$12.00
Senior LifetimeResidents 65 years or older$180.00
ChildAges 12-15$30.00
Deer Permit4 deer (Statewide)$185.00 $35.00
4 deer (Youth)$15.00 $10.00
2 deer (Additional)$15.00 $15.00
SpringTwo turkeys Statewide$85.00 $30.00
Under 151 turkey, spring or fall$15.00 $10.00
FallTwo turkeys Statewide$85.00 $30.00
Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl$15.00 $15.00
Federal Duck Stamp$25.00 $25.00
Pheasant QuotaIf drawn$25.00 $25.00
Sandhill CraneApply for hunt drawing$3.00 $3.00
Ballard 1-Day$15.00 $15.00
Elk Drawing Application$10.00 $10.00
15 and under$10.00 $10.00
Quota Elk PermitIf drawn (Bull)$550.00 $100.00
If drawn (Cow)$400.00 $60.00
Quota (Either Sex) Archery/Crossbow permit If drawn$550.00 $100.00
ElkIf drawn (Ages 12-15)$200.00 $30.00
Out-of-Zone$400.00 $30.00
Bear Permit$250.00 $30.00
Ages 12-15$100.00 $10.00
Chase$50.00 $30.00
Ages 12-15 (Chase Permit)$15.00 $10.00
Combination (Applicable for Bear Permit and Bear Chase Permit)$50.00
Peabody WMA User$15.00 $15.00
Land Between the Lakes (LBL)Hunter User Permit$25.00 $25.00
LBL Hunt/Backcountry Camping$75.00 $75.00
Otter Creek
Admission FeesPer personDaily: $3.00, Annual: $30.00Daily: $3.00, Annual: $30.00
Special Activity FeesPer personDaily: $7.00, Annual: $70.00Daily: $7.00, Annual: $70.00
Temporary Hunter Education Exemption Permit (online only)FreeFree
Bobcat PermitOnline onlyFreeFree
Habitat Improvement & Public Access DonationVoluntary and online only-Any amount
Kentucky Wild MembershipOpportunity to go out with biologists and Kit included-$25 - $1,000
Annual$55.00 $23.00
Joint/Spouses Annual$42.00
1-Day$15.00 $7.00
3-YearOnline only$15.00 $55.00
Nonresident 7-Day$35.00 Not available
Trout$10.00 $10.00

Hunting Rules

Hunting HoursLegal hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, with exceptions for certain species.
Hunting ExceptionsDisabled archery hunters may use crossbows from vehicles with proper documentation.
Property PermissionPrivate land use requires authorization. Game returns are optional for landowners.
Hunter EducationHunter education certification required for individuals born after 1/1/1975, with age exemptions.
Apprentice HuntingNovice can get temporary permits to hunt with licensed adults until certified.
Hunter OrangeHunter orange clothing required for certain seasons, with exceptions.
Prohibited PracticesHunting prohibited on rights-of-way, from vehicles, harassing wildlife, and using explosives/gas. Baiting banned some places.
Concealed CarryLegally captured animals may be taken with any firearm.
Devices RestrictionsElectronic calls and lures permitted for furbearer season only.
SpotlightingSpotlighting restrictions exist.
Live Native Animal Transport & HoldingDocumentation required before keeping wild animals. Selling/trading wild animals prohibited.
Hunting with DogsYear-round dog training allowed with proper licensing.
Bobwhite HuntSpecial season allows landowners to capture bobwhite quail August 15-May 15.
Convicted FelonsFirearm restrictions exist for criminals based on conviction date. Check local laws.


Which animals are permissible to hunt in Kentucky?

Game species that are legal to hunt are deer, elk, bear, grouse, rabbit, quail, coyote, bobcat, fox, turkey, hog, coyote, and groundhog.

Can you bait on privately owned property in Kentucky?

Individuals on private land are allowed to use bait while shooting deer. Baiting is prohibited on any publicly accessible lands.

How long is the Kentucky hunting season?

The Kentucky hunting season for 2023-2024 spans various periods, depending on the type of game and hunting method. Deer hunting encompasses an Early Season from September 2, 2023, to January 15, 2024, and a Late Season with dates varying based on specific techniques like crossbow, muzzleloader, and modern gun. Special categories include Youth/Senior Crossbow (September 16, 2023, to January 15, 2024), Youth-only Gun (October 14-15, 2023), Muzzleloader (October 21-22, 2023, and December 9-17, 2023), Modern Gun (November 11-26, 2023), and Free under 16 Weekend (December 30-31, 2023).

Is a license required in Kentucky to hunt squirrels?

Trappers above the age of 12 are required to get a license. Unless they have a permission from the Kentucky Fish and Species Cabinet, trappers must swiftly catch squirrels and rabbits.

John Lewis
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