Kentucky Opens More Land for Public Hunting

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Public land hunting opportunities in Kentucky just grew by more than 4,600 acres.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources announces the opening of six new properties ranging from Ballard County in the west to Bath County in the east. Newly opened properties include one new wildlife management area in Nelson and LaRue counties, plus additions to five existing wildlife management areas.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Gregory K. Johnson said the acquisitions are an outgrowth of the department’s sportsmen-centric philosophy.

“Our surveys show that sportsmen and sportswomen want more places where they can hunt and fish,” he said. “These new public lands help us work toward that goal. We’re proud to offer these new opportunities where people can go and create lasting memories.”

The newest wildlife management area (WMA) is Rolling Fork River WMA, Frasiur and Theresa Reesor Family Tract, in Nelson and LaRue counties. This nearly 2,900-acre area, which is bisected by the Rolling Fork River, features a mix of heavy forested hillsides and fallow fields. This property will be open to hunting under statewide regulations, including modern gun season for deer.

Additions to existing properties include:

· Big Rivers WMA and State Forest, 842 acres in Crittenden County.

· Clay WMA, addition to the Justice Tract, 148 acres in Bath County.

· Kleber WMA, 505 acres in Owen County.

· Kentucky River WMA, 70 acres in Owen County and 5 acres in Henry County.

· Boatwright WMA, 217 acres in Ballard County.

Hunting regulations for each addition are the same as the main wildlife management area. Maps and additional information about each area may be found online at, by looking under the keywords, “public lands search.”

Some areas have quota hunts for various species. The deadline to apply for these quota hunts is Sept. 30. Hunters may apply for these hunts online at by searching under the keywords, “quota hunts.”

An additional area, Rockcastle River WMA in Pulaski County, is still being prepared and currently is not open for the public. Its opening date will be announced at a later time.