Elk Capital of the East




Even a poor economy hasn’t stopped hunters from as far away as Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Canada from forking over $10 for a chance to draw a tag in one of the United States’ premier elk hunting destinations. Perhaps you’re thinking these wishful hunters are trying to land a tag in Colorado, Montana, or New Mexico, but the reality is more and more hunters are realizing that some of the best elk hunting is actually found east of the Rocky Mountains.


Kentucky, home to a burgeoning population of 10,000 elk, is quickly becoming known as the elk capital of the east. In fact, Kentucky has more elk in its herd than all of the other states east of the Mississippi River combined. More than 37,500 hunters have applied for the 1,007 elk tags being issued this year by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The department recently extended the deadline to apply for the random drawing until May 3. 


“So many people want to hunt elk in Kentucky because 300-class bulls are commonplace, and hunter success rates are world-class,” said Karen Alexy, Wildlife Division director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Last season, 96 percent of our bull hunters and nearly 90 percent of our cow elk hunters took an elk. That’s an incredible harvest rate.”


Read the full article here.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. I’ve thought about putting in a tag for Kentucky elk. The harvest rates last year are amazing. Who knows…maybe these elk will do a little more colonizing in the National Forest of Virginia and give some of us Virginia boys a better shot of getting one in state.