The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission recommended elk hunting dates for the 2019 – 2020 seasons.
It proposed issuing 594 quota hunt permits for the 2019-2020 elk seasons. The number includes 175 archery/crossbow permits, under which a hunter could harvest either a bull or a cow elk. The commission also proposed 150 firearm bull permits, 244 firearm cow permits and 25 youth permits.
The proposed permit allocation is a reduction from the 2018 season. The change will encourage herd growth in areas with fewer elk, while the elk hunting units will distribute hunting pressure and provide a higher-quality hunting experience overall. Elk units are geographic hunting areas bounded by roads across the elk restoration zone.
Additionally, the first segment of archery and crossbow elk seasons would open Sept. 14 and close Sept. 27. The second segment would open Dec. 5 and close Dec. 13. Hunters with this permit could take a bull or cow elk.
The first segment of the firearms season for bulls would open Sept. 28 and close Oct. 2, while the second segment would open Oct. 5 and close Oct. 9. The first segment of firearms season for cow elk would open Nov. 30 and close Dec. 4, while the second segment would open Dec. 28, 2019, and close Jan. 1, 2020.
Commissioners recommended creating three areas closed to elk hunting in order to emphasize elk viewing opportunities. Those areas would be Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Breathitt County, Fishtrap WMA in Pike County and an area centered around the future location of the Appalachian Wildlife Center in Bell County. The commission also recommended creating a series of hunting units in the elk restoration zone.
The commission recommends all hunting, fishing and boating regulations for approval by the General Assembly. Legislators must approve all recommendations before they become law.
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(Photo source: Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources)