Kentucky – From a Deer Hunter’s POV

Posted: 08/12/2012 in Archery, Hunting, Legal, News, Regulations
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This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.


Is the information easy to find?

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources page was at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The Kentucky web site is decidedly odd, some of the information hunters would look for, such as Deer hunting information, is completely unreadable in the web site format.  Luckily, the page that leads to the information offers users the option to view each segment in PDF format, which is usually less desirable. Even with the strange format and unreadable segments, finding when to hunt deer, how to apply for a license, how much the license will cost, and where to hunt deer is manageable but it does take some work to find the information. When possible, AVOID the web format and choose the PDF version.  Kentucky would be wise to scrap this web site and start from scratch.

Grade: D

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Kentucky does not use a lottery system for nonresident hunting licenses or deer tags.  All licenses appear to be available over the internet or from a license agent directly.  This is the preferred system for nonresident hunters, not having to rely on a lottery draw to plan a hunt, and if hunting with a group, even a last-minute-addition to the group can get a license.

Grade: A

 How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident hunting licenses are $20.00 in Kentucky, with a $30.00 deer hunting permit that allows for the harvest of two deer.  Nonresident hunting licenses are $130.00 with a nonresident deer permit priced at $60.00, again this allows for the harvest of two deer.  Additional permits for two deer are available in certain zones.  There are short-term nonresident licenses available, however those cannot be used in conjunction with deer permits or any other big game in Kentucky, so they are effectively irrelevant.  $190.00 for two deer and basic hunting is a decent price for a nonresident.

Grade: B

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

The explanation of the two-deer permit (one antlered, one antlerless) and hunting dates and zones is best summed up by this six page PDF file.  There is no reason why this couldn’t be a simple web page.

Grade: B

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Kentucky’s Wildlife Management Areas have varied seasons and regulations.  There is an interactive viewer that allows topographical views with links to specific WMA information.  This section could be improved by putting hunting dates and regulations for specific management areas on the information pages. Instead, the only place to find the specific season and regulation information is in the Public Hunting PDF.

This is poorly designed and executed, as a first time nonresident hunter could easily find the interactive map and public hunting zones, which do NOT have this information, and never see the PDF that would save a fine or criminal charge.

Grade: D

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

The information needed to plan a hunt is a mess, however once all of the information is found, Kentucky offers decent prices and quite a lot of public land to hunt on.  The best plan would probably be to print the entire hunting PDF list and work from that source rather than try to navigate the web site.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade B-

Kentucky needs to take down the web site used now and start from scratch.  The data is scattered and in some cases unreadable, with heavy reliance on the user finding information that is fully presented in some instances, and partially in others without any warning or link between the two sets of information.   In contrast, the cost of hunting Kentucky is low, with over the counter licenses and additional tags available provided the first set of tags have been filled.  Public hunting is readily available with an interactive map to help hunters identify the terrain and location of those areas.

States Completed: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas


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