Local hunter returns from Kentucky elk quota hunt with more than memories - photo

Gabby Davis scored nearly 700 pounds of elk in the 2020 Kentucky elk quota hunt last weekend. She was one of 594 drawn from over 90,000 applicants to receive one tag, only 150 of which were bull tags, beating out her own dad and two brothers.

When your name is drawn out of over 90,000 for one of 594 tags, there is a new kind of adrenalin rush for local drag racer Gabby Davis.

To sit waiting for her green light on the tree is her favorite part, except for claiming that winning ticket. This past weekend, she sat waiting for her green light.

Yellow.

Yellow.

Yellow.

Green.

A bull elk walked into the sights of her 7mm Remington Magnum. Without hesitation, her split-second reaction time dropped him.

Native elk roamed the Kentucky land as late as the 1800s. They were reported few in number in the 1810s, rarely seen in the 1840s, and by the 1880s no elk remained. In the 1990s, an elk restoration program began re-introducing elk in western Kentucky in 1996 and then in eastern Kentucky in 1997. Kentucky now boasts numbers over 10,000 elk.

Eastern Kentucky spent five years growing their herd before creating a draw for hunters. The first quota hunt was held October 2001.

Davis, her dad, and her two brothers were all entered in the draw. “Lucky me got the draw,” said Davis.

Yellow light.

Applications had to be purchased by April. Her family was notified in May that in a computer-generated random drawing, her application had been selected for one of 150 bull tags.

Yellow light.

After contacting various outfitters, Davis settled on Lost Mountain Outfitters and entered the mountains to wait. “I called him out,” said Davis.

Yellow light.

“I was calm until I saw antlers stick up above the tree.”

Green light

“Got him.”