Frankfort, KY – Applications for public quota hunts on public lands for deer, waterfowl, and pheasants, and statewide for sandhill cranes, will be taken online through the end of September.
This year, Kentucky will offer 38 quota deer hunts, pheasant hunts on three wildlife management areas (WMAs) and several waterfowl hunts on WMAs. The sandhill crane quota is for statewide hunting.
The application period for these quota hunts is the month of September. Applications and detailed information about hunts are available online at fw.ky.gov.
This season, hunters should expect some procedural changes due to COVID-19.
To eliminate the potential for large gatherings that could spread the coronavirus, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will not staff deer check-stations. Instead, hunters drawn for a quota hunt must use Telecheck, the department’s phone-in or online reporting system, to register their deer harvest. Hunters must still complete hunt verification cards and leave them at unstaffed drop boxes on WMAs.
Drawings for waterfowl hunt dates at Ballard WMA are not affected. Each person drawn will still be able to hunt for two days. However, there will be significant changes in how hunting areas are determined.
Traditionally, a large crowd gathers at the WMA office the morning of each waterfowl hunt. WMA offices do not allow for social distancing therefore the department will conduct a remote random drawing every Monday. This drawing will determine daily hunting unit assignments for the week. The department will provide complete information about the drawing process once all details are finalized.
Hunting units include walk-in or boat-in access. Hunters may not choose the type of access or trade assigned units. Hunters without a boat or not wishing to walk to a unit should consider hunting at another WMA, or using the “no-hunt” option to preserve their hunting preference points at Ballard.
In addition, Ballard WMA will not offer stand-by hunting this season. Traditionally, if a drawn hunting party does not show up, groups of hunters standing by at the WMA office can be drawn to fill the empty slot. Because of crowding concerns and the potential for spreading COVID-19, the department will not offer this option at Ballard this season.
Hunters can apply for these quota hunts throughout September by going online to fw.ky.gov. Applications are not accepted over the phone; the minimum fee is $3 per application.
A complete list of all hunts, dates and special regulations – some hunts are reserved for youths or mobility-impaired hunters – are listed in the “Quota Hunts” section of the 2020-21 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide publication.
Guides are available wherever hunting licenses are sold. Guides may also be viewed online at fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Documents/HuntingGuideEntire (PDF).
Quota hunt drawing results will be available by mid-October. Applicants can check to see if they have been selected by accessing the “My Profile” feature on the website.
For more information, call the Fish and Wildlife Information Center at 1-800-858-1549 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern) weekdays.