Thursday, February 10, 2011

Breaking Down the Elk Lottery

The deadline to apply for Kentucky's Elk Lottery this year is April 30th. This year's elk lottery adds some choices and some strategy based on what you want to hunt. Last year, approximately 45,000 people applied for Kentucky's elk lottery from all over the United States and even other countries. I've been saying for the past few years that Kentucky desperately needed to break down the lottery into cow and bull permits. This year they've done that plus have broken it down by weapon.

Here's the run down:
You can apply for 2 of the 4 choices:

Archery Cow
Firearm Cow
Firearm Bull
Archery Bull

Season Dates and Notes:

Archery-only, bull only (no crossbows during this period except youth or exemptions): Sept 17 – 30

Firearms bull week 1: Oct 1 – 7

Firearms bull week 2 : Oct 8 – 14

Either sex archery and crossbow: Oct 15 – 16; Nov 12 – Dec 9; Dec 24 - 31

Either sex archery only: Oct 22 – Nov 11; Jan 1 - 16

Firearms cow week 1: Dec 10 – 16

Firearms cow week 2: Dec 17 – 23

Youth-only Paul Van Booven WMA hunt
Sept. 24-26 (Bull or cow)

Please note: A firearms hunter may only hunt during the 7 day season for which he is drawn. He may NOT continue hunting with a bow or crossbow outside of that week.

An archery or crossbow hunter may NOT hunt during the 4 firearms weeks.

A cow archery/crossbow hunter may not hunt during the 1st 2 weeks of the season in Sept.

Special youth hunt information.

Youth have an additional option. From what I can understand from the reading, youth are still only able to apply for 2 choices with one of those being the Youth Tag.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources opened one of the state’s best places to hunt elk for a special youth-only hunt. Five youth hunters have the opportunity to gun hunt in a 2,300-acre area normally reserved for bow hunting only. The site of the hunt, Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management Area in Breathitt County, was one of the original elk release sites.

Youth hunters must apply for the Youth WMA Elk Lottery online only via the Web site of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. It costs $10 to apply. The drawing is open to Kentucky residents and non-residents.

When you apply online, the youth hunt option does not appear immediately. You must enter a valid birth date for this option to appear.

Currently, youth-only quota hunt drawing is open to any applicant who will be less than 16 years old by the first day of the hunt. All youth hunters should have the size, strength and maturity to safely handle and shoot a firearm, bow or crossbow. An adult must accompany any youth firearms elk hunter and be in the position to take immediate control of the gun.

Youth hunters may also apply for the general elk hunt by paying an additional $10 application fee online at



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