Elk Draw

Hunters and outdoor sports enthusiasts flocked to the Mountain Arts Center Saturday for the 2019 Elk Draw. Outdoor outfitters and hunting vendors set up in the lobby as interested attendees awaited the drawing of names for a permit to participate in this year’s elk hunting season.

Thousands of people focused on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’  2019 Elk Draw at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg Saturday, as names were drawn for three categories of state permits for elk hunting this fall. 

Through video and in person, 594 hunters learned their names were selected for one of the highly-sought after permits.

“We received more than 80,000 applications this year for bull firearm, cow firearm and archery/crossbow permits to hunt elk this fall,” said Richard Storm, commissioner of the KDFWR. “Out of that, there were 150 bull, 244 cow permit, 25 youth only and 175 crossbow and archery permits offered.”

Storm said that 90 percent of the permits were issued to hunters in Kentucky with the remaining 10 percent offered to out-of-state applications.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “Hunting is open to everyone — of every class, gender, financial circumstance, thanks to the foresight of people, who 25-years ago believed elk could return to the area. This is a victory for sportsman and hunters across the region to be able to have elk hunts — for the herd to grow big and strong enough to sustain the population and thrive enough to host these hunts. We are very happy for Eastern Kentucky.”

According to information from the KDFWR website, elk hunting is broken down onto two-week periods per category: Bull (antlered) firearm hunting from Sept. 28 through Oct. 2 and Oct. 5 through Oct. 9; Cow (antler-less) firearm hunting from Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 and Dec. 28 through Jan. 1, 2020; archery and crossbow hunting is from Sept. 14 through Sept. 27 and Dec. 7 through Dec. 13. The limited 25 youth permits can be used per hunting category.

“Hunters who receive a permit this year are ineligible for future draws for three years,” said Storm. “This is to give everyone a chance who wants one. So far there are only six people who have entered every year and not yet won - and who knows? This could be their year.”

For more information visit the elk hunting link at, fw.ky.gov.

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