Kentucky elk hunt on public land

stu_manji

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Indiana
I know this is mostly a western hunting site, but it's elk, and they're in our eastern form of "mountains", so here goes. I've drawn a non-resident KY bull archery tag in a specific limited entry area in eastern Kentucky. I'm beyond excited since it's only 6 hours from my home in Indiana, and not the plane trip and shipping fees that I went through when I hunted in CO last year. I've seen some other guys post on here from KY and was curious about the bulls on public land. I'll be in the Revelation Energy hunter access land. It's an active mining location. 60% is thick timber, and 30% is reclaimed ground. I've read that in the past, the herds hung out in the open a lot, because they weren't used to the new area they were in, but these animals are probably 3rd generation natives to KY. Has anyone on here had experience hunting public land for elk or deer in KY? And if so, how would you compare their behavior to the western elk I've hunted? Will it be hard to locate a herd of elk? Any insight you may have would be helpful. I'm planning a mid-August scouting trip to see if I can locate some hangouts.
 

brownbear932008

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Man do you realize how lucky you are. Never drawn always put in every year. My guess is it's tough to find tag holders from previous years not a lot of people get to hunt them. Seen some great bulls taken over the years. Get in there and spend some time scouting and prepare for a hunt of a lifetime. Better prepare physically also those KY mountains may not be high but you can trip on top and stop at the bottom of the hollar. Lol if there are reclaimed strip mines I'd start my search there.
 

stu_manji

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Indiana
I've been applying for probably 10 years as well. I always send in my $20 and forget about it. The odds of this tag, let alone getting drawn for a LEA, start at 1:650+. I told my wife, oh it'll never happen. Wouldn't ya know it, I got drawn this year. She left the letter in our office, and didn't tell me for a week that it was in there. I opened it on a Saturday morning before anyone else was out of bed and proceeded to do one of those super quiet freak out dances that if anyone had seen me doing, would probably not want to be my friend anymore. Fist pumps and hip thrusts and silent screams of excitement..... Needless to say, I've been running 10-15 miles a week and shooting my bow every night. When the success rates state wide are near 70%, you better prepare, cause no one wants to be in that 30% for lack of preparation.
 

1_pointer

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Super congrats on the tag!!! That is beating the odds!!! I don't have any info to give unfortunately. When are your hunt dates? What part of the Hoosier state do you call home? I live NE of Indy, grew up just north of Evansville and do most of my hunting near Patoka Lake.
 

stu_manji

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Indiana
I'm in Fort Wayne. I grew up in Ohio, but moved to Indiana for college and work. We get the last two weeks of September for archery and then the rifle seasons begin. We can hunt between them all the way to January. I'm just excited for screaming bulls. And the conservation success story of kentucky's elk herd is amazing! A couple men had a dream and RMEF stepped up huge to get it accomplished. If you haven't read much about it, there's a good article on kdfw website detailing the hard work they went through. Now there's 10,000 elk estimated to be running around 16 counties. That's a success in under 20 years.
 

dcopas78

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I have been down there many times, just not hunting them. I haven't been lucky enough to draw any tags! You won't have trouble finding elk. Definitely don't let the terrain fool you though. There aren't the high altitudes like out west but those hills and hollers are steep and deep! I have saw plenty of elk ever time I have went there. Here is a .pdf of the Revelation Energy lands in case you don't already have it http://fw.ky.gov/More/Documents/Revelation_Energy_HAA_All.pdf I have been on Robinson WMA and Paul Van Booven WMA many times. The last time I was down there, there were 7 bedded down on the hillside right at the Paul Van Booven WMA entrance. Good luck with the hunt!

Edit: do you have an at-large or a limited entry tag?
 
Last edited:

stu_manji

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I got the Tug Fork LEA. One of 4 archery bull tags for that LEA. I'm not sure how many cow tags were allotted for the archery season, but at least there won't be a ton of people to compete with running around there. I think it may be open to deer hunters as well, but I haven't heard back from the property manager I called yesterday.
 

WestT

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Looking forward to hearing about this hunt as it unfolds!!! Sorry I don't have any info. Good luck!!
 

1_pointer

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I'm in Fort Wayne. I grew up in Ohio, but moved to Indiana for college and work. We get the last two weeks of September for archery and then the rifle seasons begin. We can hunt between them all the way to January. I'm just excited for screaming bulls. And the conservation success story of kentucky's elk herd is amazing! A couple men had a dream and RMEF stepped up huge to get it accomplished. If you haven't read much about it, there's a good article on kdfw website detailing the hard work they went through. Now there's 10,000 elk estimated to be running around 16 counties. That's a success in under 20 years.
I don't live far off of I69, so wave when you drive by on your way down! Good luck on your hunt!

Don't know if you've ever been there, but the 3D course at Bass and Bucks over near Wabash is a fun place to shoot.
 

dcopas78

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I got the Tug Fork LEA. One of 4 archery bull tags for that LEA.

I believe Tug Fork is a new LEA this year. Should be a great area. I looked up harvest logs for 2015 and it looks like 24 elk were taken on the Revelation Energy areas last year. 7 bulls, 17 cows (4 archery, 20 rifle). I don't know that it was on your specific area, but I would say that they are from the LE areas. There is a LOT of land in that LEA to hunt. Best of luck!
 

Jwill

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I think that's a good draw! I've got an at-large archery cow tag, but I didn't get drawn in a LEA.
 

stu_manji

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Indiana
I'm pretty sure I've already annoyed the area biologist with my emails and voicemails.....I'm ready to get this thing started. Maybe my wife wants to take our 3 month old son on a road trip this weekend.....HAHA......DOUBT IT!
 

CBiddle

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I hunted with an archery bull tag last year in the Hazard LEA. If that's the area your hunting let me know. I couldn't make it happen last year but I would love to help you get it done! PM me with any questions. Ill do what I can!
 

Sapper.dawg

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I killed a cow in the Hazard LEA in 2014. I have GPS points for a spot I jumped a bull that should be on the land you are hunting, and don't mind sharing what and where I saw them. I need to brush up on the new LEAs, as they have changed since then.

Shoot me a PM with your email and I will try and dig the points up tomorrow.
 

stu_manji

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Indiana
I hunted with an archery bull tag last year in the Hazard LEA. If that's the area your hunting let me know. I couldn't make it happen last year but I would love to help you get it done! PM me with any questions. Ill do what I can!

I appreciate the offer so much! Unfortunately I drew the newly formed Tug Fork LEA. Did you find it hard to find the herd in your area? Did they hide out in dark timber until very last light? Just kinda curious how they use that landscape compared to western elk
 

CBiddle

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Kentucky
They were pretty hard too find on the public land. I found a bunch on private and couldn't get permission. I did find some though. They act like elk from anywhere else get away from the roads in the nasty spot that are hard to get too. Glass the hilltops of the reclaimed strip mines in the morning and evenings. You should be able to find them feeding. if there is a good crop of acorns this fall look for big stands of red oaks. They will gorge themselves on acorns. I noticed they like to bed on the end of oak points. If it's hot try and find a water hole or get down in a valley by the creeks. I live in northern KY about 30 minutes south of Cincinnati so if you need someone to go with you let me know. Noticed the season doesn't start till September 17th so I could come down for a few days if you need a hand. Let me know. Hell I could even run down to help you scout. Let me know
 

joelhunter

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Sep 22, 2015
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Congrats. I've been dreaming about drawing a Kentucky elk tag for a while now. I live in Indiana and with a business, small kids, and having family in Lexington, Kentucky is my only real option for elk hunting. Good luck and try to figure out a cover scent that could act as tick repellent (yeah right!). I've camped in southern Kentucky and spent hours picking ticks off myself and dog.
 

stu_manji

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Indiana
Congrats. I've been dreaming about drawing a Kentucky elk tag for a while now. I live in Indiana and with a business, small kids, and having family in Lexington, Kentucky is my only real option for elk hunting. Good luck and try to figure out a cover scent that could act as tick repellent (yeah right!). I've camped in southern Kentucky and spent hours picking ticks off myself and dog.

Ya, you are right about the ticks. Permethrin only seemed to invite them to crawl on me last time I hunted deer in KY. I'll take a few ticks crawling around, over not hunting elk any day!

Things are rolling forward. I had a bunch of front end work done to my truck so hopefully nothing breaks on those terrible mining roads down there. I talked to a biologist and another land contact, and they were extremely helpful. They went as far as to tell me where they see them a lot in the area I'm hunting, and even offered to show me around if I came down for a scouting trip. Everyone in KY that works with these animals and properties has been extremely helpful.
 
Yeti

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