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Hunting in Kentucky

Kentucky boasts 40,000 square miles of diversity. Outdoorsmen and hunters alike enjoy breathtaking landscapes. Mountains and highlands and lowlands, both dense and open, couple with pristine lakes, rivers and streams to offer endless joy.

Kentucky Hunting Guides and Outfitters

Kentucky Hunts Available

Among the most sought after game are Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Duck, Elk, and predators like Coyotes and Bobcats.


Deer are taken using one of two methods, either still hunting or spot and stalk hunting. Whitetails are usually taken while still hunting from a stand or from the ground.  In Kentucky, bow hunting is a favorite method.  Elk are located and then stalked. Elk hunts can be lengthy and straining. 


Ducks and Turkey require ambush hunting. Ducks are hunted from a duck blind set up alongside a body of water. Turkeys are located the evening before the hunt and are ambushed the following morning in that area.


Predators are usually called into range and taken out at distance. Coyotes and Bobcats can be taken with a rifle or bow, respectively. Ducks and Turkey are taken with shotguns, using appropriate shells. Deer and Elk are taken with a compound bow, rifle, or muzzleloader. 

Kentucky Wildlife Habitat

Elk and Deer travel through dense wooded areas, be it in the mountains or in the lowlands. While they do graze in open fields throughout the day, they also eat berries, acorns, nuts, and vegetation.


Ducks are hunted over lakes or rivers. Their diet includes small fish and fish eggs, seeds, small berries, worms, frogs, insects, and vegetation. Turkey are found both in dense wooded areas and in open fields. They eat acorns and nuts, seeds, small snakes, vegetation, and large insects. Turkeys are almost always foraging for food. 


Bobcats usually spend time in spots elevated above the land around them. They’re great hunters and are keen to dangerous intruders. They catch and eat small to medium size mammals and animals. Coyotes are scavengers and will eat dead and dying animals that they find along the way to their next destination. They also pack up and catch small and medium size mammals and animals to eat.

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Kentucky Hunting Regulations

Kentucky hunting seasons open up in early-September and run through late-January. Our guides are well equipped to answer questions about specific hunting dates and regulations.  Licenses can be purchased online from Kentucky Dept Fish and Wildlife Resources.


Hunters who are 15 and younger do not need a hunting license to hunt in the state. Hunters 16 and over are required to obtain a hunting license, as well as hunting tags and draws, where draws are required. 

Kentucky Hunting Tidbits

  • Kentucky is ranked as a top state for trophy whitetail deer!
  • In 2013, a Monroe County hunter snagged a 218+ non-typical Whitetail. This deer was officially measured in the top 30 non-typical Whitetail in state history.
  • In the same year, a Todd County hunter took down a non-typical Whitetail measuring in at 221+. This deer is currently the P&Y Kentucky state record holder. B&C listed this deer at number 24 out of 251 Kentucky qualifiers. 
  • There’s much more than hunting in Kentucky. While it’s one of the top states for Whitetail, it boasts an outdoor industry including hiking and backpacking, camping, swimming, summer camps, fishing, boating, and educational classes aimes at teaching people how to care for the state.
  • For more detailed information, contact a featured guide to plan a hunt, or visit the Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife at

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