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Frankfort, Kentucky – A shift to online-only applications for Kentucky elk quota hunts will solve problems with notifying people drawn for a hunt. The new system takes effect December 1, when the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources begins its application sales for the 2009-10 elk hunt.

Other licenses and permits will not be affected by the change.

Under the old system, the department faced difficulties obtaining the names and addresses of youth hunters and those without a Kentucky driver’s license. This delayed notifications to all hunters and mailings of elk hunt information to all those drawn for the hunt.

Under the new system, hunters will provide their names and addresses when they register online at the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website, fw.ky.gov . The new system speeds up the notification process and increases its efficiency.

“A majority of people were already using the Internet to verify if they were drawn for the elk hunt,” said Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Jon Gassett. “This is the next logical step to promote the elk project and maintain a database to improve future elk drawings.”

Previously, hunters could purchase an application for a quota elk hunt through a license vendor such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart or county court clerk offices, or by calling the department’s license sales phone number. However, applicants did not have to supply their names or addresses at the time of purchase, making it difficult for department personnel to track down this information and contact hunters who were drawn. Department officials were able to obtain most names and addresses by cross-referencing Kentucky driver’s license records.

However, there remained a number of hunters the department had difficulty contacting. “Each year, we have a percentage of folks whose name and address information is not captured via phone or point-of-sale vendors,” said Tina Brunjes, big game program coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Brunjes said these ‘unknown’ applicants can make up as much as 10 percent of those drawn for an elk permit. Department personnel must then try to find the drawn hunters by making phone calls, sending out press releases and posting information on the department’s website. The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission awarded 400 permits for the current season and will increase substantially the number of permits for the 2009-10 hunting season, making it even more difficult to locate unknown hunters.

“We put a lot of hours into tracking those people down,” Brunjes said. “With the number of permits issued increasing each year, we could be looking at far more unknowns in future years. The best way to remedy this is via online sales only.”

Hunters drawn for the 2009-10 elk hunt will also be able to pay for their elk permit online rather than sending a check to the department. Elk permits for those drawn to hunt cost $30 for Kentucky residents and $365 for nonresidents.

Elk lottery applications for the 2009-10 hunting season go on sale Dec. 1, 2008. Applicants can purchase their $10 quota hunt application through the department’s secure license sales webpage by going to fw.ky.gov and clicking on “Purchase Licenses Here.”

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, has an economic impact to the state of $4.5 billion annually. For more information on the department, visit our web site at fw.ky.gov.