Laws for Hunting Bobcats in Kentucky

This article contains many of the laws for hunting bobcats in Kentucky. Every hunter should check the links provided for updates and changes before making their first stand. It is every hunter’s sole responsibility to hunt legally and safely. This post is for informational purposes only.

Laws for hunting bobcats in Kentucky.
Laws for hunting bobcats in Kentucky.

One-half hour before sunrise on November 19, 2022 – February 28, 2023, daylight hours only. Limit of 5; no more than 3 shall be taken with a gun. Bobcat hunters must carry a valid hunting license (unless exempt) and a valid bobcat hunting permit while hunting. Bobcat permits are free.

Purchase a Kentucky hunting license here.

Check out the Kentucky hunting seasons.

Related: Read the three vital tips for successful bobcat hunting here.

Related: Learn the rules for hunting coyotes in Kentucky.

Related: Learn the rules for hunting fox in Kentucky.

The laws for hunting bobcats in Kentucky.

Bobcat Hunting hours in Kentucky. Daylight hours only (defined as 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.).

Legal methods an equipment for hunting bobcats in Kentucky.

  • Centerfire or rimfire gun.
  • Muzzle-loading rifle or handgun.
  • Muzzle-loading or breechloading shotguns no larger than 10 gauge. Breech-loading shotguns must be plugged to hold a maximum of three shells (two in magazine and one in chamber). There is no limit on shot size. Shotguns must be shoulder-fired.
  • Shotshells with a single projectile may only be used during daylight hours.
  • Bow and arrow or crossbow.
  • Air guns with pellets that are at least .22 caliber in size.
  • Electronic calls or electronically activated decoys may be used.

Check prices for electronic callers on Amazon here.

Amazon sells a variety of predator hunting decoys here.

Is hunting bobcats in Kentucky legal with a suppressor?

Silencers are legal in Kentucky. Hunting? Silencers are legal for hunting both game and non-game animals in Kentucky.

Bobcat hunting on public or private land in Kentucky.

On public land after daylight hours, a person shall not use any equipment other than a bow, crossbow, or shotgun loaded with a multiple projectile shell.

On private land after daylight hours, coyote hunters may not use any equipment other than a bow, crossbow, or shotgun loaded with a multiple-projectile shell, except that from December 1 – March 31 hunters may also use a rifle of 6.5mm (.264 caliber) or smaller bullet diameter; a muzzleloader of .54 caliber or less; or a shotgun shell with a single-projectile.

Night hunting shall not be allowed in a county or area where a deer or elk firearm or muzzleloader season is open.

Permits required for hunting bobcats in Kentucky.

Permits are available online at in the license purchase section. Hunters and trappers are asked to submit jaws of all harvested bobcats for population studies. Bobcat age will be provided to the harvester. A hunter or trapper who submits lower jaws from all their harvested bobcats in a single season to the department may receive one (1) additional bobcat to the bag limit for the following season for every two animals harvested.

The department must receive jaw samples from all harvested bobcats by March 15 per instructions provided to qualify for the increased bag limit. Increased bag limits are non-transferable. Hunters and trappers must confirm an increased bag limit for the following season online through MyProfile at

Reporting harvested bobcats to Kentucky.

Harvested bobcats must be telechecked by calling 1-800-245-4263 by midnight on the day the animal is recovered, before processing the carcass and before transporting the raw fur, pelt or unskinned carcass out of Kentucky. A hunter or trapper who wants to have a bobcat mounted shall provide his or her name, telephone number and telecheck confirmation number to the taxidermist. Taxidermists cannot legally accept an unchecked bobcat for mounting.

A Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) tag, issued by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, must be attached to the raw fur of any bobcat taken in Kentucky if the hunter or trapper intends to sell or export internationally.

To complete and submit a CITES tag request form online, access the “My Profile”. Those without internet access may call the department at 1-800-858-1549 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern time) and provide the animal’s telecheck confirmation number.

A CITES tag must be attached to the raw fur, pelt or unskinned carcass of any bobcat taken in Kentucky upon receipt of the tag from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife per the instructions provided by the department and remain attached until it is processed or exported outside the United States.

Possession of an unused bobcat or otter CITES tag is prohibited.

A person who transfers, but does not sell, bobcat to another person or taxidermist, is not required to request a CITES tag. But, this person must attach a handmade carcass tag to the animal that contains the telecheck confirmation number and the hunter or trapper’s name and phone number.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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