Kentucky Hunting Seasons, 2016-2017

Bag game large and small during Kentucky’s hunting seasons. From deer to bear, elk and small game, hunters will find variety in the state’s woods.

Hunting licenses and permits are required for particular game. These can be purchased easily online, for both residents and nonresidents. Permits can also be purchased from a license agent or through the phone. License and permit rates vary based on season, residency, age and special designations.

Kentucky offers two methods – by telephone or through the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website – for checking in harvested game. Elk, turkey, bear, bobcat and river otters must all be checked in, through any method, after bagging. Because time limits for check-in vary by animal, be sure to visit the Fish and Wildlife Resources website for additional information.

Statewide, the 2014-2015 hunting season runs from July 2014 to February 2015.

Deer Seasons


Sep. 3-Jan. 16


Oct. 1-16
Nov. 12-Dec. 31

Early Muzzleloader

Oct. 15-16
Dec. 10-18*


Nov. 12-27*

Youth-only Firearms

Oct. 8-9

Free Youth Weekend

Dec. 31-Jan. 1

*Some season dates and regulations may vary by zone. Be sure to visit the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website for more information.

Elk Seasons

Archery, Bulls Only

Sep. 17-Jan. 16

Archery, Cows Only

Oct. 15-Jan. 16

Firearms, Bulls Only

Oct. 1-14*

Firearms, Cows Only

Dec. 10-16
Jan. 7-13

Crossbow, Bull Only

Sept. 24-Dec. 23

Crossbow, Cow Only

Oct. 15-Dec. 23

Turkey Seasons

Fall Archery

Sep. 3-Jan. 16

Fall Firearms

Oct. 22-28
Dec. 3-9

Fall Crossbow

Oct. 1-16
Nov. 12-Dec. 31

Bear Seasons


Nov. 19-27


Nov. 19-27

Chase Only

Aug. 1-31


Nov. 19-27

Quota Hunt With Dogs

Dec. 19-23

Bear seasons are only open to Kentucky residents.

Small Game Seasons


Sep. 1-No. 7
Jan. 4-Feb. 29



Raccoon, Opossum

Oct. 1-Feb.28


May 21-Jun. 17
Aug. 20-Nov. 11
Nov. 14-Feb. 28

Daily: 6
Possession: 12


Nov. 1-11
Nov. 14-Feb. 31

Daily: 4
Possession: 8

Rabbit (Eastern Zone)

Nov. 1-11
Nov. 14- Jan. 31

Daily: 4
Possession: 8

Rabbit (Western Zone)

Nov. 14-Feb. 10

Daily: 4
Possession: 8

Quail (Eastern Zone)

Nov. 1-11
Nov. 14-Jan. 31

Daily: 8
Possession: 16

Quail (Western Zone)

Nov. 14- Feb. 10

Daily: 8
Possession: 16

Bag limits, special seasons and hunting regulations for Kentucky hunting seasons do vary based on animal and seasons. For more information on obtaining licenses, permits and regulations, visit the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website.