Department opens new areas for public hunting in Owen County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 19, 2019) -The John A. Kleber Wildlife Management Area (WMA) recently expanded by 378 acres in Owen County. The new area is now open for turkey hunting.

The Kentucky Wetland and Stream Mitigation Program recently concluded a stream restoration on Minors Creek, a tributary of Elm Fork that flows through the heart of the main tract of Kleber WMA. The new acreage adjoins a section of the main tract of Kleber WMA, south of the rifle and pistol range.

“We wanted to open this property as soon as possible, so turkey hunters would have more opportunity before the season closes on May 5,” said acting Wildlife Division Director Chris Garland. “We hope the public enjoys the new area.”

Derek Beard, Bluegrass Region coordinator for the Wildlife Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, said part of the property was a cattle farm. The department, through its mitigation program, restored or preserved a good deal of Minors Creek with this project.

Beard said crews planted streamside buffers along Minors Creek, installed pools and riffles, graded the bank to restore the stream’s access to its flood plain and reinstalled meanders.

The section of the new acreage toward Elm Fork is forested. “There is some nice mature timber on it with some oaks,” Beard said. “It should have plenty of deer and turkey.”

A parking lot serving this new parcel of the area lies along KY 1874 (Minors Branch Road). It is open to public use. “The hunting regulations match the rest of Kleber WMA,” Beard said.

Updated maps are on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at The new acreage appears as a lighter green on the map. Type in “Kleber WMA” in the search box in the top right corner of the page.

Buy licenses and permits for turkey hunting seven days a week, 24 hours a day through the department’s website. Regulations for turkey hunting are available online on the department’s website.