“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that was amazing, awe inspiring and awesome! Elk hunting is like turkey and deer hunting, put together and multiplied by 100. I look forward to future opportunities of elk hunting in Kentucky. Also, the KDWFR, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and others involved have done a wonderful job in all their efforts! The bull elk was taken in Floyd County on October 7, 2006 at 4:30 pm. The hunting party included David Wilson (my father), Adam Lawson (friend) and guide Joe David Taylor. The bull was taken with a Remington .270 and was called in with a cow call by myself.”
- Michael Wilson, Campbellsville, KY
Killed an 800 lb (estimated weight), 8-1/2 year old cow elk from the original released stock with a metal tag in its ear. Her proud father, Ricky Pearson, accompanied her. Jordan is 16 years old and a High School Junior.
- Jordan Rena Pearson, Louisville, KY
Ear tag reveals elk was transported from Utah and released as a calf at the Czar Coal Co. in Martin County, Kentucky in April 2002. Elk was harvested by bow on October 7, 2006. The approximate age of the elk would be 5-1/2 years. It is the current state record for bow kill with a gross scorer of 321-6/8 and a net score of 314-2/8. Significant features: the right antler measures 50-3/8” in length. Circumference between first and second point measures 8-2/8 inches. Circumference at the base measures 10 inches. Outside spread measures 43-2/8 inches. Received certificate from the North America Bowhunting Big Game Records for American Elk Pope and Young Club, Martin County, Kentucky.
- Michael Duncan, Georgetown, KY
Enclosed is a photo of my elk rack and also a copy of the photo that was published on the front page of our local newspaper. My elk and 8 x 7 was officially scored at Frankfort on January 29, 2007. It scored 342-3/8 non-typical. I held off and passed on several bulls wanting to get this bull. I had seem him scouting and knew he was a really good bull. Used a Browning A-Bolt 300 win mag at a range of 125 yards. The bull was taken in Knott County and I was unable to weigh the elk. I am a taxidermist and plan to mount my elk soon. Thanks for all you are doing to help our elk here in Kentucky. I plan to help as much as I can with the elk program and the RMEF.
- Danny Waldroup, Waynesburg, KY
Here are some photos of my elk that I shot and the landscape around. On the landscape photo on top of the green grassy hill is where I shot from inside a pop-up tent. The elk weighed about 600 lbs. and was one of the first elk originally released.
- Joseph Livers, Bardstown, KY
- Adam Ott, Louisville, KY
I do not think I have ever had a greater thrill. This was my hunt of a lifetime. The kill of an 800+ pounds Wapiti was on October 7, 2006 on the Czar Coal Company land in Martin County Kentucky. Had the hunt taken place in the great wild of Africa, the thrill to this septuagenarian would have been no greater. Thank you Kentucky Department of Wildlife for the great assistance given to me on this hunt.
- Bobby Vanderpool, Fort Thomas, KY
First of all, I would urge anyone to head down there and check out the elk. My wife and I went down 1 week before bull season came in to scout. We seen a herd of about 70-80 animals that included 8 bulls 6x6 or bigger. There were probably 30 bulls total in the herd. The bugling was constant from daylight until we left at about 11:00 am. I drew a cow tag so I waited until bull season was over to do some archery hunting. I really wasn't expecting to connect on a cow, just wanted to get out there and see what elk hunting was all about. I arrived on Friday afternoon, before my weekend hunt with my dad and brother. We headed out to the area and seen 4 bulls that afternoon, but no cows. The morning of my hunt was much of the same. On the way out for lunch, we spotted a lone cow feeding by herself about 300 yds away. We parked the trucked and the stalk was on. I was able to get downwind and walk within about 150 yds. From there we belly crawled, my brother right behind of me with the video camera. It took better than an hour, but we finally got within position. When she looked the other direction, I raised up on my knees, drew my bow, then released. It was approximately a 20 yd shot. We guessed her at 400-450 lbs. The hunt was absolutely wonderful, but more importantly was the time spent with my family.
- Jason Richardson
I was very excited to find out that I was one of the 200 successful applicants drawn for the 2006 elk quota hunt in Kentucky. According to the data, I was the only applicant drawn from Russell County, Kentucky. I was eligible to tag an antlerless elk within the 16 county elk zone. After making contacts with personnel from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, I found out I could hunt areas in and around Hazard Kentucky. The first day of gun season did not result in any herd sightings. So plans were made to go to another area the next day. On the second hunt day, a herd of 20 or so elk was sighted. Several hours were spent observing 7 large bull elk graze, push and fight near the opening of a ravine. It was like watching an elk show on TV except it was a real life experience. Finally in the late afternoon, at almost dusty dark, the cows in that herd began to move out of the wooded are4a toward a watering hole. After watching the cows through binoculars, I carefully picked out one and shot her at 186 yards. It was such an experience for my first time elk hunt. I'm sure to put in for the 2007 quota hunt and hope that I may be lucky two years in a row. I really appreciate the opportunity to have had such a wonderful hunt and meet some super nice people that love wildlife and successful game hunting. Special thanks to Dan Crank and Brandon Thomas who helped me so much.
- Bobby Hatfield, Russell Springs, KY
I got this 6x6 the first morning of 2006 rifle season in Knott County, Ky. He field dressed 620 lbs and scored 296. This bull was the herd bull and was with a herd of around 30 cows and bulls mixed. There was a 6 x 7 bull in this herd, but he didn’t have the mass and tine length and I passed on him. I had two other people with me and we videoed the kill. It was awesome!!! PSThanks for the gift pack, I love the cap and I used the call the help bring this bull in for a shot.
- Garry Partin, Rockholds, KY
Keep doing what you are doing - first class hunt. Everything with the elk hunt was handled well. I hope that I can do it again this year.
- Paul Morgan, Bardstown, KY
I enjoyed the hunt. Very glad to be able to hunt elk back in Eastern Kentukcy again. The men over the hunt and the countryside was great. The elk weighed 570 lbs. Hope I get to do it again sometimes.
- James Marshall Meade, Nippa KY
This was an experience that will never be forgotten.
- Donnie Allen, Bagdad, KY
I live in Floyd County, Kentucky. Most all of my elk hunting and scouting trips were on the Tim Goble Farm on Cow Creek, Prestonsburg, KY. I harvested my cow elk on the Goble Farm on the first day of gun season. I saw numerous elk while bow hunting the whole season prior to gun season. I was not successful in harvesting an elk with a bow, but finally had success. I did not have a paid guide, but was accompanied by Gary Garrett and Jerry Lowe who are very good friends and know the local area very well.
The morning of my success, I saw approximately 25-30 elk before my perfect shot presented itself. The cow weighed approximately 600 lbs (live weight) and I would guess around 3 years old.
Thank you for the chance to have this hunt. I feel it was probably a once in a lifetime thing for me and hope that all other local hunters get the chance to experience what I have right in their own hometown.
- Dallas R. Garrett, Prestonsburg, KY
It was the first time that I ever hunted outside the county in which I live. It was very exciting and a learning experience for me. The scenery was beautiful and the people were very friendly and helpful. Dan Crank of the KY Fish & Wildlife Department was so courteous and accommodating. The cow elk that I harvested was estimated to weigh around 500 lbs. It is excellent eating, very lean and tender. I was fortunate to have a friend who lives in Elizabethtown, Pat Elmore. He picked us up at the airport ... The next morning we went to Hazard to the Robinson Forest Camp. I was also fortunate that one of my brothers-in-law was able to assist me on the hunt. He had hunted on other occassions and was a big help. I hope to be able to come back to Kentucky to elk hunt again. I have already applied for a 2007 elk permit. Many thanks to Fish & Wildlife and Dan Crank for their hospitality.
- Elick W. Foster, East Hardwick, VT
Hi, my name is Sierra. I'm 10 years old. I really liked going and hunting on the trip. It was really fun for being the youngest elk hunter in Kentucky drawing. I killed a cow elk that weighed in about 620 lbs. We have over 380 lbs. of meat. I really had fun. Next year an idea for the hunt would be to draw 400 cow tags and 600 bull tags. It was really hard trying to find a big cow. So that's why I say 600 bull tags because there were so many bulls not many cows. Thank you.
- Sierra Thomas, 10 years old
- Jay Clutts
It was a fantastic hunt and an experience my dad and I will never forget!
- Ken Dzurenka
I think the hunt was one of the most incredible experiences I have had, just being in the woods when daybreak comes and seeing the elk in the skyline. Even if I had not killed an elk, I was just grateful to experience the outdoors with my family. The scouting and getting to view the elk in their habitat which ended in a hunt of a lifetime. I'd always joked with my husband during deer hunting that I was not going to shoot anything unless it had a tree on its head! So, I guess I got pretty close! I'll have a great story to tell my grandkids some day.
- Penny Cupp, Manchester, KY
This cow elk was harvested 12/10/06 by me, James Lewis, Sr. It was an overwhelming hunt of a lifetime. I was joined by my son Jamie Lewis and my nephew Jerry King. This was a hunt that will be remembered in our family. I would like to dedicate this in the memory of my brother, Carroll L. Lewis, wish you could have been there. We had spotted a nice bull elk as we were leaving the day before. We many many people on his hunt that were very kind and helpful. One hunter helped us move the large cow elk so we could load it. The cow weighed 550-600 lbs. My son spotted a small group of elk around 8 AM. There were 6 of them in this group 5 cow, 1 bull. It was a wonderful hunt and I hope there will be another chance to do this again. I have been hunting deer all my life so this was a new experience for me. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for picking me for this hunt.
- James O. Lewis, Sr., Burnside, KY
Some of the other comments/recommendations from the 2006 hunt.
It was great! I would have loved a "bull" tag, but I'm not complaining! I took my 12 year old son, he loved it - me too!
Everyone was helpful. Charlie Logsdon, Greg Ison, both of KDFWR were great as was our guide from Ivy Creek Hunting Club. We have been back for visits with them. Great people!
Let KDFWR have one ATV per site to help drag elk out.
It would be helpful to have more contact persons and available land to hunt on.
Doing a wonderful job, just continue to gain access to more land to increase public hunting opportunities. The trip was a dream come true. The RMEF members at the Begley WMA treated as like kings, the food was incredible.
The elk program is awesome and exceeded my expectations. Continue present goals.
Don't have any elk hunts while deer season is in progress.
Try to locate more areas for the hunters to hunt.
I saw several cow hunters with bows who were obviously not seriously hunting (groups of 4-5 walking the roads). Several groups were in the area I was hunting and had a negative impact on my hunt. I was bull hunting. I would like to see the cow season begin the week after the bull season. I had the best time of my life. Thanks.
Increase the number of public areas to hunt. Expand the 16 county restoration area. I feel that the KDFWR and RMEF have done a wonderful job with the Elk Hunt in Kentucky. Also I scored on a beautiful 6 x 6 elk.
I think the number of elk in area which I hunted was great, we saw an average of approximately 30 elk every trip we went out. Do away with limited access hunts.
The KY Department of Fish & Wildlife was most helpful and courteous group of people I have ever met. These gentlemen made our hunt so much more enjoyable because of their concern, knowledge and assistance in all areas of the hunt.
How about more archery hunts available to the public. Muzzleloader draw.
This was an ideal hunt for me because I live within 30 miles from the area where I hunted. People from KDFWR were exceptionally helpful.
Had fun - everyone was helpful.
Eric Thomas went above and beyond his duties for our hunt.
I met wonderful people who were most helpful in assisting in my hunt. More precise maps would be very helpful. As much as possible, involve successful hunters in elk round up etc. Start a "brotherhood" of hunters. Their hunting experise could be published and serve as a guide and a stimulus to future applicants.
The opening day of muzzleloader deer season opened on the same morning as the at-large cow hunt, maybe stagger these. The age old compaint of too many hunters with ATV's some of which were unmuffled. I don't have the answer, other than common courtesy.
Make sure contacts listed return your calls. Could not say enough about the help I got from Dan Crank. Thanks again. Had a hunt of a lifetime sure hope I get to hunt again. I've told all my friends - they are all applying along with me for next year.
Maybe a few more tips on the actual hunting of the elk. It may just be that I'm 16, but I knew nothing about elk. Everything during the hunt was great. I would have just like to have been told more on the actual hunting of the elk.
Contact all previously drawn hunters to gather names, numbers of people who helped their hunt be successful (landowners, etc.). Hats off to KDFWR and especially Charlie Logsdon for helping make my bowhunt a success.
Do not have the gun hunt at the same time as the muzzleloader. I had a cow tag. A lot of people cam in on my hunt. I killed one with a bow in January due to less people in the field.
Allow archery hunters to hunt for a week prior to gunhunters or issue more bull tags as archery only tags.
Limiting recreational ATV riding during the firearm season for elk. More limited entry areas, a point system, more permits! More opportunity for youth to hunt elk in Kentucky.
Don't have the cow gun season the same week as muzzleloader. I had an awesome time. What an experience! First time elk hunting and first time ate elk. Wonderful meat.
I could not find a processing plant that would take my elk. I cancelled a 5 day reservation at the resort, had to pack my elk in ice and get home.
It was a great hunt, love that the whole thing was in Kentucky.
I wish Indiana could be more like your state!
More hunting contacts, even if they charge, just note that they charge. Ask people who have hunted to share their videos with KDFWR and send highlights out in package to those who are drawn. Make great advertisement for elk tag draw. More tags and let me put in more that once for the year. Not greedy, just had a great experience last year. Thanks.
Quality of the hunt was excellent. Dan Crank's assistance was pivital to my success, access to land to hunt for elk.
More food spots. Look for trophy bull. Keep close eye on them.
No suggestions really. I think the Department does a superior job in handling this resource. Really appreciated the knowledge and assistance provided by Wildlife Biologist, Dan Crank.
Open the season with an archery only one week. Elk need to be hunted in order to be more wary before gun season.
This was my first elk hunt. I was 100% thrilled with the way it went. I believe you are doing a great job as you are. I traveled from Utah to Kentucky to elk hunt. I brought a lot of my supplies and clothing for hunting with me so I didn't need to make purchases in Kentucky. You might put in a page of processors other than those who process for the needy.
Hunting clubs who allow elk to be taken, should get a complimentary bull tag.
More detailed maps on public land and I mean big ones you can read without a mag glass. I had a really great hunt. My brother and I filmed it and I will always enjoy it. To take elk in your home state is an honor that I will never forget. Just hope in the future, I'll draw a bull permit. Keep up the good work you are doing a fine job.
I would like to thank KDFWR for a great experience and a great hunting trip. Keep up the good work.
Availability to access conservation officers to find good places to hunt. Captain Ken Amburge took us out on two occassions to scout. He did an awesome job. It's people like him that will make this a great program in the future. I would be glad to answer any more questions.
More people of places that will allow you to hunt. Make it unlawful to hunt off a 4-wheeler or have gun encased and unloaded. A man and his kid shot at 3 elk off 4 wheeler and missed all 3 they shot.
Don't let it be overhunted. A tag that you can kill an elk is better than one you can't. Greg Ison helped on locating my elk. He was outstanding man to meet and made the trip worth going even without the elk. Thanks for the hunt.
Close the public hunting area during the elk gun season. I had 2 different guys drive by while I was setting up. Each said they did not know it was open hunting elk season. A law should be passed, if during any big game gun season, orange must be worn by all those in the woods.
The care package was great. Maybe add a list of processors and taxidermist in SE Kentucky. The hunt and KDFWR staff were outstanding. The entire event was very good. Wouldn't change a thing.
Draw more local residents than outsiders. Because Kentuckians are getting very upset. I run a store so I hear this constantly. The people in the counties that are having to deal with the elk in the roads, yards and we help protect and watchover the elk. Should get more draws in these counties.
Try to locate additional private land contacts or guides or local people willing to help locate the elk herds. KDFWR and RMEF have done a magnificant job restoring the elk herd. Money well spent. Keep up the good work.
More information on how to contact hunt clubs and landowners
Give the hunters more time to find a place to hunt.
Places to stay, places to camp, private and public, places to eat, guides and guide service. Is their any places for handicap people that could be hunted, have muzzleload season finished before cow hunt. Hope to see elk in other areas of the state. There was too many people driving trucks and 4-wheelers.
The package was great. The call and video was the key to my success. I would like to thank everyone involved for allowing the chance to experience a dream come true. Thank you.
I had an exceptional hunt. I am going to join Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Hope it will provide more game preserves in the future. I hunted Ivy Creek Fish & Game, it was great. Biologist Charlie Logsdon was a great help all around. Thank you.
Reducing the number of game wardens in isolated hunting areas. Include a list of taxidermists and meat processors in the restoration zone in the information that is sent to the hunters.
Quality of elk hunt was very good.
Allow more non-residents to draw tags and be able to specify cow or bull.
What I can say was that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that was amazing, awe inspiring and awesome. Elk hunting is like turkey and deer hunting put together and multiplied by 100. I look forward to future opportunities of elk hunting in Kentucky.
Information on the proper care of the elk meat and how to properly cool it for the long trip home. My Kentucky elk hunt will always be remembered as a once in a lifetime experience and all the KDWFR people were very helpful.
A list of meat processors in the area that will take a carcass. Limit modern firearms to fewer tags. Thanks for making the possibility of hunting elk in Kentucky a reality. I really enjoyed the hunt and tell everyone about my great experience. Keep up the good work.
I thought it was very well organized. Greg Ison was extremely helpful and took time out of his schedule to give me a tour of 2 different areas. He was very knowledgeable.
I think it would be hard to improve. I think everyone involved has done a wonderful job. I would like to thank the Fish & Wildlife law enforcement officers for being so nice, especially Captain Amburgey and all the biologists that assisted us.
My only problem were trespassers a lot on the property I hunted. Keep up the great work. No department in the country can be more proud of different restoration successes.
You folks did an outstanding job. I don't know how you could improve. I can't thank you enough for the opportunity. Everyone I met was nice and willing to help in every way. The greatest hunt of my life.
I had a wonderful time and so did the person I brought to scout when I bowhunted. I hope the herd flouishes and I get drawn for a bull someday. I'm greatful that ya'll had the insight to start a program like this. I'm hoping to be able to hunt bear and mountain lion in this state someday.
As the herd grows, continue to have more permits. Publish the results of the hunt in local papers to help get more hunters interested in the elk hunt. Kentucky Afield TV and magazine both do great in their coverage.
The elk hunt was much more fun that I thought. The wildlife biologists were extremely helpful and courteous. It was very well done.
Try to control the wild & domestic dogs and continue to prosecute poachers. Would like to see the buffer zone moved back to the next county in the region.
Start the hunt a week or two earlier - the rut was beginning to wind down by early October. My compliments on KDFWR personnel's customer - service oriented attitude. We are extremely lucky to have elk in Kentucky.
This is the best wildlife meeting project that I have ever seen. I am 80 years old - retired from the Ohio Division of wildlife after 30 years as a wildlife management supervision.
Do 'not' have a black powder deer season the same time as "elk hunt". It's almost impossible to get an elk on an elk at large tag if you get deerhunters in the woods blasting with black powder rifles.
Get strong support from residents and landowners to allow the herd to grow. Do the same with bordering states. Do not allow tags to get to the higher price other states have. Help farmers with crop damage.
Everything went perfect with me. Wouldn't change a thing. Everyone that I had contact with from the Department of Fish & Wildlife were fantastic. Great guys.
More private lands that may be available to hunt, even if they were to be leased. I believe you need to have archery only tags to apply for (mid-September) and seperate rifle tags (October). Archery only tags should be either sex and rifle tags should be made to apply for cow or bull. Good job.
Detailed maps of the counties that are huntable. WMA's were a little hard to locate. I brought a friend with me and for both of us it cost about $500 total to come hunt elk. We had a great time and was well worth it.
I was elated to receive the notification informing me that I had been selected in ’06. Having several health issues, I contemplated turning my selection back for someone else to use, but was persuaded to use it myself by family and friends. I am glad I did. I was familiar with the area because I had hauled heavy equipment into the area during the coal boom era. I was well received by people whom I associated with and was helped by many locals, pointing to good hunting areas, etc. Although I didn’t detect any resentment from local people, I did detect a certain disappointment that more local hunters were not selected. I would suggest that there may be some way a program could put in place to perhaps provide an extra draw for hunters and landowners in the region to allow more participation by locals. It seems to me to be a wise act to assure their future goodwill. It appears that the deer herd in eastern Kentucky is not on a par with ours here in central and western Kentucky, although deer we observed appeared to be active and healthy. I never dreamed that I would live to have an opportunity to hunt elk in Kentucky, so although I was unsuccessful, I am still grateful. I have supported the restoration effort and would love to see it continue. I also would contribute to a fund to compensate landowners for damages caused by the elk and to help assure their welcome to hunters in the future.
I was drawn to hunt cow elk for the ’06 hunt. Prior to the hunt, I contacted Dan Crank and explained that I had a heart condition and inquired if there was a fairly level area where I could hunt. He advised that permission had been obtained for two hunters to hunt on private land at a coal mine in Hyden, KY. He sent me the necessary paperwork for the private land hunting and directions to the property and the check in rules of the coal company. Other than that, he said I would be on my own. I traveled to Hyden in November to check out the area prior to the hunt to get an idea of the lay of the area and directions, etc. I also checked out lodging facilities in the area that would be convenient to the area. My son and I arrived in eastern Kentucky on Thursday prior to the opening Saturday for the hunt. We walked and scouted both Thursday and Friday observing about 100 bull and cow elk and developed a game plan for the Saturday hunt. We arrived at the site before dawn on Saturday morning, checked in at the guard shack and walked to our predetermined hunting spot on the side of a mountain and waited for daylight. At daylight a Jeep came driving by with 3 hunters hanging out the windows. (We had asked Dan Crank if deer muzzleloader season overlapping elk season would be a problem. He said this was private land that he though only the two elk hunters would be in the area.) We had to check at the guard shack but noticed that the deer hunters drove right by without stopping. We got up and moved to another area at daylight and the same thing happened again with trucks driving by with hunters with guns out the windows and hunters in the beds of the trucks. We heard numerous consecutive shots. There’s a big difference in the sound of shots from muzzleloaders and automatic rifles. We heard rapid succession shots, like those of automatic guns not muzzleloaders. We called Dan Crank on Saturday morning and advised him of the problem; he said he would send an officer to the area, but no one showed. We kept moving all day to escape the deer hunters but couldn’t get away form them. We stayed out all day and left at twilight. The coal company has numerous roads crisscrossing the area and the deer hunters drove the roads constantly. We had asked if we could bring a 4-wheeler in, but was told that we could not. Yet we saw several trucks with trailers parked and the gates down. We did see 8 bull elk on Saturday and 11 on Sunday, but not a single cow. We did find a large blood pile which had to be from a very large animal but no gut pile. We ran into the other elk hunter and his son from Bardstown who was having the same problems. We left on Sunday, very disappointed and flt that Fish & Wildlife gave us no cooperation. We felt anything but safe in the area. I called Tina Brunjes Monday but did not get an answer. I left a message on the answering machine telling my story, but did not receive a response.
I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how much Eric Thomas helped us on our elk hunt. We were down to only a few days before our hunt and had yet to locate a place to hunt. Everyone we contacted either already had hunters or didn’t return my calls. Through a mutual friend, I met Eric Thomas. Eric called and helped me set up the hunt. He gave us directions, helped us scout, gave us a tour of the area, allowed us to camp in his background and even shower in his house. My son and I had dreamed of going on an elk hunt for years, but, with the prices out west, it is much too expensive. Our Kentucky elk hunt would not have been possible without Eric’s help. It was a success because of him. He treated us like one of the family and we truly appreciate it. You should be proud to have him working for you.
Allow more hunters to enjoy. Allow more tags for 2007. Kentucky is doing a great job with the elk herd. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to hunting elk again in your great state. thanks.