Hi, fellow hunters! Are you as excited about the Kentucky Deer Season in 2023 - 2024?

Kentucky is a state that offers fantastic chances for deer hunting. Before you start, make sure to check the season dates, limits and regulations to ensure a legal hunt in the state.

In this article, we'll break down everything you need to know before heading out on your adventure: from important dates and regulations to top picks for prime hunting locations and pro tips for making sure you come back with a prize-winning buck.

Kentucky Deer Season Dates

Method ​Dates Bag Limits
Archery Sept. 2, 2023  - Jan. 15, 2024
  • 4 deer each season( 1 antlered deer and 3 antlerless deer )
  • An additional deer permit is needed for more than 4 deer
  • Up to 2 additional deer with the permit within specific zones
Youth/Senior Crossbow
Crossbow Sept. 16, 2023 - Jan. 15, 2024
Youth-only Gun Oct. 14 - 15, 2023
Muzzleloader Oct. 21 - 22, 2023
Dec. 9 - 17, 2023
Modern Gun Nov. 11 - 26, 2023
Free Youth Weekend Dec. 30 - 31, 2023

Kentucky License Requirements And Fees

Before going afield, hunters need to know what type of license or permit they will need. The table below is a quick overview of the current requirements for the Kentucky licenses.

RESIDENTS Ages 12-15 Ages 16-64 Ages 65 and older OR Disabled
Youth Hunting License+Youth Deer Permit Annual Hunting License +Statewide Permit Senior/Disabled or Senior Lifetime Sportsman's License


NONRESIDENTS Ages 12-15 Ages 16 and Older
Must buy nonresident licenses/permits Youth Hunting License +Youth Deer Permit Annual Hunting License +Statewide Permit

Hunters will need to provide your Social Security number when purchasing the license. Licenses and permits can be purchased online at the official website: fw.ky.gov, or any license agents listed on the website.

LICENSE / PERMIT Resident fee Nonresident fee
Statewide Deer Permit (four deer) $35 $185
(ages 12-15) Youth Deer Permit (four deer) $10 $15
Additional Deer Permit (two deer) $15 $15
Annual Hunting $27 $150
1-Day Hunting (not valid for deer, elk, turkey or bear) $7 $25
7-Day Hunting (not valid for deer, elk, turkey or bear) / $65
Annual Youth Hunting (ages 12-15 only) $6 $10

Kentucky Deer Hunting Zones

deer hunting zones in Kentucky

Kentucky boasts over 1.5 million acres of public hunting grounds, with maps readily available to help you navigate these hunting areas. However, you must familiarize yourself with the specific regulations for each piece of land before heading out to hunt.

Some public areas implement "quota" hunts, where access is restricted through an application process for a limited number of spots during designated timeframes.

In contrast, other public lands may be open for various hunting seasons according to local county regulations.

Deer Bag Limits for Different Zones:

ZONE 1: A hunter may harvest an unlimited number of antlerless deer using the statewide deer permit and additional deer permits.

ZONE 2: A hunter may harvest no more than four deer.

ZONE 3: A hunter may harvest no more than four deer. Only one antlerless deer can be taken using a firearm or air gun.

ZONE 4: A hunter may harvest no more than two deer in total with no more than one being antlerless. Antlerless deer cannot be taken during certain seasons, including the modern gun season, the early muzzleloader season, or the first six days of the late muzzleloader season. The statewide bag limit of one antlered deer still applies.

⚠️Note: Only one antlered deer may be harvested statewide, regardless of zone or method.

Hunting Regulations For Kentucky Deer Season

All deer hunters in Kentucky must follow specific guidelines to ensure safe and responsible hunting practices. These include:

  1. All deer must be telechecked. Hunters need to check in with the state hotline(1-800-245-4263) or complete an online check-in process before heading out on their hunt.
  2. Hunters must possess either a physical license or permit, or a unique authorization number displayed on their person at all times during the hunt.
  3. Minors under the age of 12, both resident and non-resident, do not need to purchase a license, and adults accompanying young hunters who are not hunting themselves are exempt from this requirement. I
  4. It is important to obtain permission from the landowner before hunting on private property.
  5. New hunters in Kentucky can opt to take a one-time temporary exemption permit online, which allows them to hunt for one year without attending a hunter education course.
  6. All hunters are required to wear brightly orange clothing, visible from all angles, when operating in daylight conditions.
  7. Hunters cannot take off hunter orange clothing while on a stand or in a blind.
  8. It is illegal to hunt from vehicles unless specifically allowed by regulations.
  9. Baiting is strictly prohibited in all hunting parks and areas. Hunters are not permitted to use electronic calls or decoys to attract deer and elk.
  10. Hunters cannot use dogs to pursue or hunt deer and elk.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kentucky Deer Season

Let's take a quick look at some frequently asked questions about the Kentucky deer season.

What are the dates for deer season in KY?

The dates vary from different hunting methods. It usually starts from September 2023 to January 2024.

How many deer can you harvest in KY?

4 deer ( 1 antlered deer and 3 antlerless deer).

How many deer can you shoot on your own property in Kentucky?

Only one antlered deer may be harvested statewide, regardless of zone or method.

Can I bait deer in Kentucky?

No. Baiting is prohibited in all wildlife management areas in Kentucky.

How much is a Kentucky deer tag?

For residents, the fee is $35; for non-residents, the fee is $185.

Can you use a deer decoy in Kentucky?

No. Hunters cannot use electronic calls or decoys to trick deer into coming close for shooting.

What county in Kentucky has the most deer?

According to the 2022 hunting report, a total of 3,172 deer were hunted and killed in Hardin County during the season.

Can you hunt on your own property without a license in KY?

No. You will need to have a hunting license if you want to hunt in the state, no matter whether it is public land or your own property.


Each hunting season in Kentucky brings unique opportunities and experiences. Keep in mind that the information can be changed over time and you need to double-check the latest updates before going on your trip.

With our post, you can keep updated with the latest season dates, necessary license requirements and fees, and regulations.

As you venture into the wilderness, always prioritize safety and respect for the environment. By following these principles, you can have unforgettable hunting memories.

So, put on your favorite blaze orange attire, secure your rifle, and get ready to enjoy the time-honored traditions of Kentucky deer hunting!

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