I drew a Kentucky either sex archery elk 2022…. I need some help…

Commutair

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May 21, 2022
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Sorry just after 2 years I was able to pull the Kentucky elk tag. I know. Listen, trust me I payed my dues. BHA life member, RMEF member, I fill out those raffle tickets every 2 weeks with RMEF, plus countless raffles for whatever. ha! Anyhow, I need to hear from people that have hunted elk in Kentucky. I’ll listen to anybody, any advice. I really don’t wanna hire an outfitter. I guess I will if I have to gain public access.

I don’t even know what area to put in for. I am going there to scout after I get my unit, then I’m going to hunt for two weeks. I will update all on my experience. Please reach out to me with any info! Thank you, John
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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I'm also no help, but awesome on the tag. Looking forward to hearing about the hunt.
 

Salmonchaser

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I’ve hunted elk for a long time, all I know about Kentucky, well that’s where Catherine is from. Good luck and do keep us posted with your scouting reports. I always enjoy the hunt stories from the reintroduced areas.
 

Commutair

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Sounds good guys. I have reached out to Kentucky Fish and game I’m just waiting to hear back from them I am looking over a lot of data from years of hunting and I am deciding whether to go DIY or get an outfitter. I hear a lot that these elk are in private property. my preference is to go DIY just because that’s who I am. I’m hoping gain some info this week.I’ll keep you posted. Thanks guys!
 
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brownbear932008

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Sounds good guys. I have reached out to Kentucky Fish and game I’m just waiting to hear back from them I am looking over a lot of data from years of hunting and I am deciding whether to go DIY or get an outfitter. I hear a lot that these elk are in private property. my preference is to go DIY just because that’s who I am. I’m hoping gain some info this week.I’ll keep you posted. Thanks guys!
If you want a good one outfitters have the best private spots leased,unless you can draw some of the primo public land areas. Which areas those are I have no idea. Just what I've heard through the grapevine. A few people here have drawn tags before do a search if you haven't done so already.
 

pj2578

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Congrats on your tag. They are extremely hard to come by. With that being said I would recommend you go with a guide. In the early days of our elk program it was very possible to hunt public and/or coal company land and be successful on a DIY hunt. That is no longer the case. The elk numbers are down, the coal companies are mostly closed and no longer permitting access. The local outfitters have leased the majority of the ground where good elk hunting can be found and what little public is left will be over run with hunters and void of elk.

I'm not endorsing any one guide, but I can tell you that Hurley Combs from Lost Mountain Outfitters is the best and the most recognized. If I ever drew that tag that is who I would go with. It will be costly. I think it's about $5,500, but they are all about the same price no matter who you go with.

I would just hate to see you draw a once in a lifetime tag and go down there with expectations of a DIY when it's not really a possibility any longer.

Good luck.
 

seeth07

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Congrats on your tag. They are extremely hard to come by. With that being said I would recommend you go with a guide. In the early days of our elk program it was very possible to hunt public and/or coal company land and be successful on a DIY hunt. That is no longer the case. The elk numbers are down, the coal companies are mostly closed and no longer permitting access. The local outfitters have leased the majority of the ground where good elk hunting can be found and what little public is left will be over run with hunters and void of elk.

I'm not endorsing any one guide, but I can tell you that Hurley Combs from Lost Mountain Outfitters is the best and the most recognized. If I ever drew that tag that is who I would go with. It will be costly. I think it's about $5,500, but they are all about the same price no matter who you go with.

I would just hate to see you draw a once in a lifetime tag and go down there with expectations of a DIY when it's not really a possibility any longer.

Good luck.
You hit it right on and matches exactly what my experience was like when I had the elk tag down there 2 years ago. The only thing you missed is mentioning just how brutal the terrain is in that area. The mountains might not top out very high but damn it sure is steep, thick and just down right nasty stuff to hunt. Good luck!
 

jpcoll01

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KY is 4% public land...a lot different than out west. I'm sure you could DIY if you had plenty of time for boots on the ground scouting, but, sadly, I think a guide with some good leased ground might be the way to go. If you decide to DIY I have heard of a guy who sells a couple scouting services each year for certain units. Don't know a lot about it but would be another option. Congrats on the tag! I live in KY and was skunked again this year :)
 

JAG

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Randy and Corey had an ElkTalk podcast with a representative of KY Fish and Wildlife recently; Episode 88. While it is a high-level overview of elk hunting in KY, it does have a few hidden nuggets of information that can get you started. They do talk about unit characteristics and what to look for as you engage property owners.

In response to the above post's 4% public land, the podcast's intro states "90% private land". Perhaps this percentage is more public since it reflects the elk-occupied areas and the 4% is statewide. Whether it's 4% or 10%, it sure seems terrible.

In many respects, the podcast is a great example of what a phone call with a biologist is like if he has 1.5 hours to spare.

Good luck!
 

Commutair

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So far, every minute of the day I get I have been looking into this hunt. I have read everything on the Kentucky website. I have mapped out by the counties and ranked them in order where elk are killed. I talked With a bunch of wardens and biologist who have been super supportive. everyone is saying the same thing, very hard, hot, not much bugling, exhausted hunt. Spoke with a warden who hunted last year with an either sex archery tag and shot a cow on the last day of hunt.

Sounds like the huge bull days are few and far between. People have been saying shoot the first bull you see. I’ll keep doing my homework. It’s hunting. Will see. I’m still excited and gonna go in this thing 1000%. Thanks guys!
 

brownbear932008

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So far, every minute of the day I get I have been looking into this hunt. I have read everything on the Kentucky website. I have mapped out by the counties and ranked them in order where elk are killed. I talked With a bunch of wardens and biologist who have been super supportive. everyone is saying the same thing, very hard, hot, not much bugling, exhausted hunt. Spoke with a warden who hunted last year with an either sex archery tag and shot a cow on the last day of hunt.

Sounds like the huge bull days are few and far between. People have been saying shoot the first bull you see. I’ll keep doing my homework. It’s hunting. Will see. I’m still excited and gonna go in this thing 1000%. Thanks guys!
The tag isn't what it use to be lower numbers, educated animals, tough terrain. However contrary to some of the information given here Eastern KY has a lot of public land. The 4% Statewide is probably true but if you split the State in half those percentages change dramatically. It's a once in a lifetime tag if you can't put in lots of scouting time and live quite a distance away from your unit do yourself a favor and hire a guide. Otherwise there is a pretty good chance you will get skunked.
 
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