Department of Fish and Wildlife
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposes 2015-2016 deer season dates and modifications to elk hunting
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed the dates of the 2015-2016 deer
seasons and numerous changes to deer and elk regulations in the state at its
quarterly meeting Dec. 12.
Commission members proposed allowing
resident hunters 65 or older to use crossbows during the entire archery deer
season as well as deer zone changes for Hopkins, Larue, Green, Nelson, Bullitt,
Grayson, Ohio, Breckinridge and Allen counties. They also recommended modifying
deer hunting regulations on 10 wildlife management areas (WMAs) and on Otter
Creek Outdoor Recreation Area.
also recommended several changes to elk hunting management as well as
instituting a new landowner voucher permit system.
The commission recommends all
hunting, fishing and boating regulations for approval by the General Assembly
and approves all expenditures by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Resources. All recommendations must be approved by legislators before they
2015-2016 deer season dates (no changes from last season, dates reflect calendar shift):
Archery: Sept. 5, 2015 –
Jan. 18, 2016, either sex (antlered or antlerless deer)
Crossbow: Oct. 1 – Oct.
18; Nov. 14 – Dec. 31, 2015, either sex
Early Youth Weekend: Oct.
10 – 11, 2015, either sex
Zones 1, 2 and 3: Oct. 17 – 18, 2015, either sex
4: antlered only
1 and 2: Nov. 14 – Nov. 29, 2015, either sex
3: Nov. 14 – Nov. 23, 2015, either sex
4: Nov. 14 – Nov. 23, 2015, antlered only
statewide: Dec. 12 – Dec. 20, 2015
1, 2 and 3: Dec. 12 – Dec. 20, 2015, either sex
4: Dec. 12 – 17 antlered only, Dec 18 - 20, 2015, either sex
Late Youth Weekend: Dec.
26 – 27, 2015, either sex
Bag limits remain the same as last
In other deer-related business, the commission
recommended several zone changes. Hopkins, Larue, Green, Nelson and Bullitt
counties will change from Zone 2 to Zone 1. Grayson, Ohio and Breckinridge counties
will move from Zone 3 to Zone 2 while Allen County will go from Zone 2 to Zone
Resident hunters 65 or older may use
crossbows during the entire deer archery season, starting with the 2015-2016
archery deer season.
Commission members also proposed several
changes to deer hunting on some public lands. These changes will be effective
for the 2015-2016 deer seasons:
WMA in Nicholas, Bath and Fleming counties under statewide regulations for the
December muzzleloader season.
Only allow archery
and crossbow hunting for deer on the two new tracts of Dewey Lake WMA in Floyd
sex deer to be harvested during the first 10 days of modern gun deer season on
Yatesville Lake WMA in Lawrence County.
hunters on Veterans Memorial WMA in Scott County to earn one preference point
for each female deer (up to four) during the December firearms quota hunt and
create a firearms antlerless quota hunt the first weekend in December.
firearms quota hunt during the first weekend in November of Kentucky River WMA
in Henry and Owen counties.
quota hunt and open Marion County WMA under statewide regulations for deer
first quota firearms hunt in November on the Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation
Area in Meade County.
crossbow hunting on Higginson-Henry WMA in Union County.
Duck Island Tract of Lake Barkley WMA in Trigg County for the October
Allow hunters at Ballard WMA in Ballard County
to earn one preference point for each female deer checked in (up to four)
during the November firearms quota hunt.
WMA in Clay and Leslie counties for the first weekend of modern firearms season
under statewide regulations.
In elk-related business, the commission
proposed a reduction in the total number of quota hunt elk permits by 100 to
910 total permits for the 2015-2016 elk seasons. This reduction is only for cow
The commission also expanded elk
crossbow hunting. Elk hunters may use crossbows during the elk archery seasons
from the fourth Saturday in September through the fourth Friday in December
annually. Commission members also moved the second cow firearms season to open
the first Saturday in January (Jan. 2, 2016).
The commission proposed implementing
a landowner voucher system to increase access to land for those participating
in the elk quota hunts and modified the tagging requirements for elk.
They also recommended some changes
for public land elk hunting.
These changes will be effective for
the 2015-2016 elk seasons:
Middlesboro Tract of Corrigan WMA to elk hunting and create a limited entry
area around this tract called the Middlesboro Limited Entry Area.
limited entry area around the Czar Hunting Access Area and surrounding properties
and call this tract the Prestonsburg Limited Entry Area.
Caney Limited Entry Area and open it to hunters with at-large elk tags.
North and South at-large elk hunting areas into a single at-large area.
The next Kentucky Fish and Wildlife
Commission meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (Eastern time) Friday, March 6,
2015. Meetings are held in the Arnold Mitchell Building, located at 1
Sportsman’s Lane in Frankfort.