Major Changes to Kentucky Crossbow Season for 2019-2020


The KDFWR Commission met on Friday, June 15, 2019. Kentucky Crossbow Federation president Perry McClure was present, along with other KCF members. At that meeting, they approved the following for the 2019-2020 hunting season.

  • The crossbow season will begin on the 3rd Saturday of September and run continuously until the 3rd Monday in January.
  • Youth under the age of 16 may hunt with a crossbow starting on the first Saturday in September.

While this still carves out the first two or so weeks of September, it represents a significant increase in days that a crossbow may be used over the previous crossbow season. The previous season was October 1 through the end of the third full weekend in October, and from the second Saturday in November through December 31. The increase represents approximately 47 additional crossbow hunting days, depending on the year and where the dates fall.

The next step for these date changes will be to be reviewed by the legislative committee known as the Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee. This eight-member committee includes both state Senators and Representatives and typically meets monthly on the 2nd Monday of the month at 1pm in Frankfort. As soon as we are able to confirm when these regulation changes will be on the Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee agenda, Kentucky Crossbow Federation will let you know so that you can contact the members to express your support for these changes.

Updates from LKS 2018 Convention

Update from League of Kentucky Sportsmen 2018 Convention

On June 9, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, of which KCF is a member, had its annual business meeting in Somerset, KY. KCF vice president Eric DeLodder and member Scott DeLodder attended as voting delegates to represent KCF.

At the meeting, a resolution proposed by the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) was adopted by LKS. This resolution, which can be viewed here, called for LKS to support the expansion of crossbow season, representing a change in the stance of the League which was previously not in support of expanding crossbow season.

Because Kentucky Crossbow Federation joined LKS after the deadline to formally submit resolutions, we had submitted an “emergency” resolution (meaning submitted after the deadline) mirroring the resolution proposed by QDMA. Because the QDMA resolution passed, it was not necessary for LKS to consider the KCF resolution

A second resolution relating to crossbows was also passed by the league, which you can read at the same link above. This resolution, proposed by the Campbell County Bowhunters, calls for LKS to endorse the requirement that youth under 15 years of age, while hunting with a crossbow, be accompanied by an adult who shall be in a position to take control of the crossbow at all times during big game seasons. As far as we know, KDFWR is not considering this, but if they did, this means that the League of Kentucky Sportsmen would be in support.

A full summary of the LKS business meeting is currently posted on the LKS homepage.

KCF Vice President Eric DeLodder and member Scott DeLodder at the 2018 LKS Convention in Somerset.

Update from 3/23/18 KDFWR Commission Meeting

Kentucky Crossbow Federation president Perry McClure and Vice President Eric DeLodder attended the KDFWR meeting yesterday in Frankfort where several votes took place that will impact our upcoming deer season.

Unfortunately, the issue of expanding the crossbow season was tabled until the next meeting in May. KCF will continue to monitor the situation.

Other big changes are as follows:

1. The statewide deer permit bag limit will be increased from 2 deer to 4 deer for Zone 1, and to the specific county zone bag limit for all others.

2. The Youth deer permit bag limit will be increased from 1 deer to 4 deer for Zone 1, and to the specific county zone bag limit for all others.

3. An additional deer permit (beyond the initial 4 deer) will be available for a hunter to take an additional 15 deer. The original proposal was to eliminate the additional permit altogether, but the commission amended this proposal to keep the additional permit, but expanded it from 2 deer to 15 deer (applicable in zone 1).

4. Archery season will now begin on September 1st.

5. Modern Gun season will now last for 16 days for all 4 deer zones.

6. A new, ANTERLESS only, gun hunt has been created and will occur during the last weekend of September for ZONE 1 counties only. This topic received some debate, specifically around permitting. In the end, it was approved as is, without the requirement for a special permit.

7. In Zone 3, only 1 anterless deer can be taken with a gun.

8. Zone 4 bag limit reduced to 1 antlered and 1 anterless deer.

There were a few other topics there were discussed and voted upon, but we believe the items listed above were the most important.

You can read the official meeting summary from KDFWR here.

Call to Action

On Friday, March 23 at 8:30am EST, the KY Dept of Fish and Wildlife Commission Board will consider expanding the KY crossbow season to be the same as archery. There are several ways you can help:

1) Contact your Commission Director before 3/23 and express support. Find your county’s director at

2) Attend the Commission Board meeting on 3/23 at KDFWR Headquarters in Frankfort.

3) Download and print our Call to Action flyer to hand out to your friends, family, and co-workers.

4) Join Kentucky Crossbow Federation

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