Fishing & Hunting licenses are available at various local vendors. For a list of local license agents call 1-800-858-1549. Since August 30, 2000, licenses can be purchased toll free by phone at 1-877-KYTAG01(1-877-598-2401) or on the Internet at http://fw.ky.gov.
Below is a summary of hunting & fishing regulations along with fees for the many licenses & permits available. If you cannot find the information you need at this site, the Department of Fish & Wildlife (KDFWR) Web site has more detailed information.
Fishing License Requirements & Exemptions
A resident is anyone who has established permanent & legal residence in Kentucky and resided here at least 30 day immediately prior to applying for a license. Full-time students enrolled in an educational institution for at least a six-month term & service personnel on permanent assignment in Kentucky are also classified as residents. All others are non-residents and are required, unless under age 16, to purchase nonresident licenses.
All persons must fill out & carry the proper license & permit to fish any Kentucky waters except (For permit requirements see Trout Permit):
- The resident owner of farmlands, his spouse and dependent children may fish on their land without a license. Tenants, their spouses and dependent children may fish without a license on farmlands where they live and work
- Resident servicemen on furlough of more than three days may fish statewide without a license, but must carry proper identification and papers showing furlough status
- Residents and non-residents under age of 16
Discount senior/disabled hunting & fishing license are required of Kentucky residents who are: 65 and older, American veterans 50% disabled as a result of a service-connected disability or declared permanently disabled by the Federal Social Security Administration, a workers' claim board or the United States Railroad Retirement Board.
Disabled persons must obtain an authorization card from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources before buying the discounted license. Call 1-800-858-1549.
Persons 65 & older must show proof of age & residency to buy a senior/disabled license.
A senior/disabled license entitles the holder to hunt & fish for all species including trout, deer, turkey, migratory birds and waterfowl without additional state permits. (Federal waterfowl stamp is required.) The holder of this license must carry proof of residency and Age (driver's license) or disability.
- Residents with a senior or disabled Kentucky combination hunting/fishing license
- Resident owner of farmlands, their spouses and dependent children while fishing on their own land
- Tenants, their spouses & dependent children fishing on farmlands where they live and work
- Persons under 16
Hunting License & Permit Requirements
Unless exempt, hunters must carry a valid Kentucky annual or short term hunting license on their person while in the field. Unless exempt hunters are required to possess & carry additional permits to hunt deer, turkey and migratory birds in Kentucky.
Any hunter less than 16 years old may purchase a junior hunting license instead of a regular license. A junior hunting license shall not be issued without the written permission of a parent, guardian or person having custody of the junior hunter. A parent, guardian or person having custody of a junior hunter shall sign the junior hunter's license to signify consent. A junior hunting license is valid from the time of purchase through the end of February, regardless of whether the purchaser turns 16 after having bought a junior license.
All hunting licenses, permits and authorization numbers are nontransferable. Licenses and permits must be signed and the hunter information portion filled out completely before going a field.
Hunters who own land in Kentucky, but reside outside the state, must purchase nonresident licenses.
Senior/Disabled Combination Hunting & Fishing License is available for purchase at a discount ($5.00). Kentucky residents who are 65 years old or older, are eligible, as well as, Kentucky residents with permanent disability (See Senior/Disabled License for qualifications above). Holders of this license are not required to purchase any other state permits to hunt deer, turkey, or waterfowl. However, holders must purchase a federal waterfowl stamp to hunt waterfowl.
Holders of Senior/Disabled Combination Licenses, if qualifying for the license due to disability, must carry both the license and authorization card while hunting.
Only the following may hunt without purchasing a license:
- Kentucky residents and their spouses and dependent children are allowed to hunt upon their own farmlands
- Tenants, their spouses and dependent children hunting upon farmlands where they reside and work
- Kentucky residents on military furlough of more than 3 days who carry identification and papers showing their furlough status
Only the following may hunt deer, turkey and migratory birds without purchasing a state permit:
- Residents and their spouses and dependent children are allowed to hunt upon their own farmlands
- Hunters who hold a senior/disabled combination license
Trapping License Requirements
A trapping license is required of all trappers, regardless of age, residency or physical condition. Resident landowners, tenants and their dependents trapping on their own property must possess a valid trapping license. A landowner/tenant trapping license may be used only by a landowner, tenant or his/her dependents trapping on their own property. Trapping licenses are available from hunting license agents across the state.
Replacement License Procedure
Persons who need a license or permit replaced have these options:
- Purchase the same type of license or permit from any license vendor, ask them for license refund form, fill it out and mail to:
#1 Game Farm Rd
Frankfort, KY 40601
- You will receive a refund minus a $3.00 handling fee.
- Send $3.00, your name, address, and the ID number (Social Security or Driver's License) you used to purchase the lost license/permit (identify what you want) to:
#1 Game Farm Rd
Frankfort, KY 40601
- KDFWR will replace what you lost, once verification of original purchase occurs.
- Contact the KDFWR Licensing Branch regarding replacement of lost authorization numbers.
Hunter Education Requirements
All hunters required to carry a Kentucky hunting license and born on or after January 1, 1975 must carry a valid hunter education course completion card while hunting. A bow hunter not in possession of a firearm while hunting may carry a valid National Bow hunter Education Program course completion card instead of the hunter education course card.
Children under 10 years old may hunt without a hunter education card, but must be accompanied by an adult who shall be in position to take immediate control of the child's bow or firearm at all times while the juvenile is hunting. One adult shall not accompany more than two children at one time.
Hunter education cards are not required in order to purchase licenses or permits, but must be in the hunter's possession when in the field. Hunter education cards obtained in other states are valid in Kentucky. Course information is available by contacting KDFWR.
Click the following link for more information on KDFWR Hunter Education.
License & Permit Fees
A listing of fees is available at the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources web site.