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In season – Hunting rules, regulations, and safety

By Jennifer Moonsong

Central Division,

General Manager,

Jobe Publishing, Inc.


With fall here there are already many bow hunters in the woods hunting deer and wild turkeys.

Bow season is already in full swing until January 20, 2020. Muzzleloader season will open again December 14-22, and modern gun season is November 9-24.

Free youth weekend is December 28-29.

Although hunting is a traditional pastime for many Kentuckians of all generations, rules, and regulations associated with the sporting tradition are not as widely known or adhered to as one might suspect.


Hunters and people accompanying them must wear solid, unbroken orange attire visible from all sides of the head, chest, and back when hunting any species with firearms. However, it is not required for hunting waterfowl or doves during deer gun season.

The following are common examples of violations related to hunter orange clothing:

  • Wearing camouflage-patterned hunter orange garments without additional solid hunter orange clothing on the head, back, and chest.
  • Wearing hunter orange clothing while walking to a stand and taking it off when you get there.
  • Hunting squirrel, rabbit or quail when and where a firearm deer or elk season is also open without wearing hunter orange clothing.

Limitations and tagging

In zone 2, which includes Metcalfe, Barren, and Monroe, a hunter may tag no more than 4 deer.

All harvested deer must be tele-checked by calling 1-800-245-4263 or complete the online check-in at

All hunters 16 and older must buy and carry a hunting license.

Other rules and regulations

Anyone with hunting dogs that must be retrieved from another person’s land cannot be retrieved without permission. Permission from the landowner must be obtained before the hunter can enter private property; Landowners are under no obligation to allow hunters to retrieve game or dogs from their land.

Persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1975 must carry a valid card while hunting. However, children younger than 12 years old are exempt from hunter education certification.

No person shall discharge any firearm, bow and arrow, crossbow or other similar device, upon, over or across any public roadway. Hunting is prohibited in highway or interstate medians and rights of way.

No person shall take or attempt to take wildlife, protected or unprotected, from an automobile, or other vehicle, except as prescribed by regulation. Hunting from boats is permitted for small game and furbearers.

A person shall not pursue, chase or take a deer, elk, or turkey (during the spring turkey season): with the aid of dogs; while on horseback; or when a deer, elk or bear is swimming. Dogs may be used to locate and flush turkeys during the fall turkey seasons only.

It is illegal to feed bears directly or indirectly for any reason.

No person shall take wildlife with the aid of fire, smoke, explosives or gas.

For more information, visit or find a local field representative from Field and Wildlife.


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