PRESTONSBURG – Elk were introduced to Kentucky 20 years ago as part of a restoration project. With the estimated elk population in Kentucky now over 10,000, individuals can hunt elk only if chosen through a random lottery. The start of bow hunting season for elk and deer was Sept. 5 and a local event is set to be held for area hunters. Jenny Wiley State Park is set to host the Eastern Kentucky Elk and Hunting Expo during the upcoming weekend. The two-day event will feature seminars, demonstrations, vendor booths and a petting zoo.
In 2015, Kentucky issued 910 elk hunt permits. Individuals wishing to hunt elk in the state of Kentucky must apply for consideration between January 1 and April 30 each year. Kentucky has been successful with its elk restoration project. Kentucky’s elk herd is estimated at more than 11,000, which according to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, makes it the 10th largest herd in the country.
Kentucky’s reclaimed strip mine land is an ideal habitat for elk. The elk zone, where hunters may legally hunt the big game, consists of 16 counties. An individual must officially have a permit to hunt elk unless the animal strays outside of one of the counties designated as part of the elk zone.
Jenny Wiley State Resort Part will begin conducting elk tours September 17. Elk tours will be held at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park through through March. For more information, contact Trinity Shepherd or Rodney Gardner at (606) 889-1790.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.