Apply Now for Kentucky’s Elk Hunt – Biggest East of the Rockies

Kentucky’s new #1 bull elk. Photo courtesy of David Giles
Kentucky’s new #1 bull elk. Photo courtesy of David Giles
Kentucky Department Fish & Wildlife
Kentucky Department Fish & Wildlife

Frankfort, KY –  -( Apply for your dream hunt now. In just a few days, 910 applicants will be randomly drawn to hunt elk this fall in Kentucky, which features the largest herd and hunt east of the Rocky Mountains. Hunters must apply at by April 30th (midnight Eastern time) to enter the drawing for 2016 Kentucky elk hunt. Entries are only $10 each.

During the 2015 elk season, three new top-ten bulls were harvested in Kentucky. One was a new state record bull measuring 377-5/8” that was harvested with a rifle with aid of a local guide service. The new #2 bull scored 373-4/8” and was taken by an unguided 14-year-old archery hunter accompanied by his father.

Kentucky offers a variety of elk hunting opportunities, with seasons spanning September through December. Applicants may apply for any (or all) of the 4 permit types: firearm bull, archery bull, firearm cow, and archery cow. Crossbows may be used with archery permits during designated timeframes. Youths ages 15 and under may also apply for 10 special youth-only permits valid for either a bull or a cow.

Elk hunters’ harvest success in Kentucky is very high: about 70% on average. Those drawn to hunt must purchase a current annual hunting license plus an elk permit. Hunters may bring along as many helpers as desired. Last year’s odds of being drawn and more details are posted at

The elk hunt is held in 16 southeastern counties that occupy 4.2 million acres—an area larger than Yellowstone National Park. There are over a half-million acres of public land in the elk hunt area, along with abundant private land. Private guide/outfitter services are also available.

Kentucky’s elk program is one of modern wildlife management’s greatest success stories. Elk restocking began in 1997 with the release of 7 animals, after elk were extirpated from the Bluegrass State nearly 200 years before. A total of 1,554 elk were reintroduced in Kentucky over 5 years, with animals provided by 6 western states having healthy elk populations. The herd reached the population goal of an estimated 10,000 animals in less than 10 years.

Those interested in the hunt should apply now. The deadline is midnight (eastern) on April 30 2016.

Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources conserves and enhances fish and wildlife resources and provides opportunity for hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, and other wildlife-related activities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Elk hunt drawing proceeds support elk conservation, research, and opportunities for elk-related recreation in Kentucky. For more information, visit

1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
gee bud

Holy crap that is one nice elk!