New for 2023-24: Quota Dove Hunts

In an innovative move for the upcoming hunting season, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) is introducing an exclusive opportunity for dove hunters – the Quota Dove Hunts. This novel approach aims to provide a distinct and controlled hunting experience, ensuring a more sustainable and regulated environment.

Limited Access, Controlled Experience

Unlike traditional dove hunts, the Quota Dove Hunts will restrict the number of hunters granted access and designate specific hours for hunting activities. This deliberate limitation is strategically implemented to alleviate the pressure on hunting fields, fostering a more controlled and sustainable hunting atmosphere.

Prescribed Number of Hunters

To participate in the Quota Dove Hunts, hunters must adhere to a predetermined limit on the number of participants. This measure ensures that the hunting fields receive only a manageable level of activity, contributing to the overall well-being of the dove population and the preservation of the hunting ecosystem.

Exclusive Hunting Dates

Fields earmarked for Quota Dove Hunts will be temporarily closed to all hunting activities, except for the designated dates of September 1 and September 9. On these specific days, hunters selected through the draw process will have the exclusive opportunity to engage in dove hunting within the specified hours.

Enhanced Conservation Efforts

The introduction of Quota Dove Hunts aligns with the KDFWR's commitment to conservation. By implementing controlled access and limited hunting hours, the department aims to strike a balance between the enjoyment of hunting and the preservation of dove populations. This approach reflects a forward-thinking strategy to sustainably manage natural resources.

Application and Draw Process

Hunters interested in participating in the Quota Dove Hunts must undergo an application and draw process. This involves a selection system to determine the fortunate individuals who will have the unique opportunity to partake in this exclusive and carefully managed hunting experience.

Migratory Bird Hunting HIP Requirements

Harvest Information Program (HIP) Survey

To engage in the pursuit of Dove, Wood Duck, Teal, Woodcock, Snipe, and Crow, it is imperative for hunters to adhere to the stipulated legal procedures. The primary prerequisite involves completion of the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey, an indispensable step for individuals aspiring to become authorized migratory bird hunters.

Understanding HIP

The Harvest Information Program is a critical component of the regulatory framework governing migratory bird hunting. This comprehensive survey is designed to collect essential data that aids wildlife management efforts and ensures sustainable hunting practices. By participating in the HIP survey, hunters contribute valuable information that facilitates the conservation and preservation of migratory bird populations.

Mandatory Participation

Before embarking on any hunting expedition targeting migratory birds, hunters are obligated to proactively fill out the HIP survey. This mandatory requirement is in place to ascertain a hunter's awareness and compliance with established regulations. Failure to complete the HIP survey renders the individual ineligible to partake in legal migratory bird hunting activities.

Navigating the Process

The HIP survey is conveniently accessible, allowing hunters to fulfill this obligation through user-friendly channels. Whether online or through designated outlets, hunters can efficiently navigate the survey, providing the necessary details required for compliance. The information gathered serves as a vital tool for authorities to monitor and manage migratory bird populations effectively.

Legal Implications

Non-compliance with the HIP survey requirement carries serious legal consequences. To avoid penalties and ensure a seamless hunting experience, hunters must prioritize completing the survey before venturing into the pursuit of Dove, Wood Duck, Teal, Woodcock, Snipe, and Crow. This proactive approach aligns with the overarching goal of maintaining a sustainable and well-regulated migratory bird hunting environment.

Migratory Birds (Webless) Season Regulations

Dove

  • Season Dates: Sept. 1 - Oct. 26, Nov. 23 - Dec. 3, 2023, and Dec. 23, 2023 - Jan. 14, 2024
  • Daily Limit: 15 (including white-winged dove)
  • Possession Limit: 45

Virginia & Sora Rail

  • Season Dates: Sept. 1 - Nov. 9, 2023
  • Daily Limit: 25 singly or combined
  • Possession Limit: 75

American Woodcock

  • Season Dates: Oct. 28 - Nov. 10 and Nov. 13 - Dec. 13, 2023
  • Daily Limit: 3
  • Possession Limit: 9

Wilson's Snipe

  • Season Dates: Sept. 20 - Oct. 29, 2023, and Nov. 23, 2023 - Jan. 28, 2024
  • Daily Limit: 8
  • Possession Limit: 24

Common & Purple Gallinule

  • Season Dates: Sept. 1 - Nov. 9, 2023
  • Daily Limit: 3 singly or combined
  • Possession Limit: 9

Crow

  • Season Dates: Sept. 1 - Nov. 9, 2023, and Jan. 4 - Feb. 28, 2024
  • Hunting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise until sunset
  • Daily Limit: none
  • Possession Limit: none

Early Wood Duck & Teal (Includes blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon teal)

  • Season Dates: Sept. 16 - 20, 2023
  • Daily Limit: 6 birds with no more than 2 wood ducks
  • Possession Limit: 18 birds with no more than 6 wood ducks

Teal Only

  • Season Dates: Sept. 16 - 24, 2023
  • Daily Limit: 6
  • Possession Limit: 18

September Canada Goose

  • Season Dates: Sept. 16 - 30, 2023 (Eastern Region); Sept. 1 - 15, 2023 (Western Region)
  • Daily Limit: 5
  • Possession Limit: 15

Youth / Military Waterfowl Days

  • Youth Dates: Nov. 18, 2023, and Feb. 11, 2024
  • Military Dates: Nov. 19, 2023, and Feb. 11, 2024
  • Same Limits as the Duck and Goose Seasons

Sandhill Crane

  • Season Dates: Dec. 7, 2023 - Jan. 31, 2024
  • Daily Limit: 1 or 2*
  • Possession Limit: 3
  • *Note: The daily bag limit for Sandhill Cranes is 2 cranes for permit holders with 2 or more tags or 1 crane for permit holders with one tag. Sandhill Crane permits are available only through quota hunt drawings in September at the Quota Hunts page.

Migratory Bird Hunting License Requirements in Kentucky

Hunting in Kentucky requires adherence to specific licensing regulations, ensuring a lawful and regulated hunting experience.

Kentucky Hunting License

Hunters, unless exempt, are obligated to possess a valid Kentucky hunting license while pursuing species outlined in this guide. This license serves as a fundamental requirement, emphasizing the state's commitment to responsible and regulated hunting practices.

Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit

For those targeting migratory game birds, including waterfowl such as ducks, geese, coots, and mergansers, a Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit, accompanied by a federal migratory bird stamp, is mandatory. This comprehensive permit authorizes the hunting of various migratory birds, ensuring a comprehensive approach to conservation.

Migratory Bird Hunting Protocol

Hunters focusing on migratory birds other than waterfowl must obtain a Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit. However, before engaging in migratory bird hunting, compliance with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) is crucial. This brief survey, taking less than 5 minutes, serves as a vital tool for monitoring and managing migratory bird populations.

Completing the HIP Survey

  1. Accessing the Survey: Initiate the process by visiting "My Profile" to fill out the HIP survey.

  2. Basic Information Confirmation: The survey requests basic information to confirm your identity, a straightforward process to enhance the efficiency of data collection.

  3. Confirmation Number Requirement: Upon completion, a confirmation number is provided. This number is essential and must be noted on your hunting license or Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit.

  4. Assistance for Hunters without Internet Access: Recognizing the diversity of hunters, those without internet access can seek assistance from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife by calling 1-800-858-1549. Knowledgeable staff are available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern), excluding holidays.

Kentucky emphasizes the importance of hunters actively participating in these procedures, fostering a responsible hunting community while contributing to wildlife conservation efforts.

Prohibition on Hunting Over Baited Fields

Illegal Practices: Doves and Waterfowl

The illegality of hunting doves or waterfowl over a "baited" field is a crucial aspect of Kentucky's hunting laws. Baited fields encompass areas where grain, salt, or other attractants are intentionally placed, deviating from legitimate agricultural practices.

Definition of Baited Fields

  1. Grain, Salt, and Attractants: Any field featuring the placement of grain, salt, or other attractants not occurring through legitimate agricultural practices is classified as a "baited" field.

  2. Exclusion of Legitimate Wildlife Food Plots: Mature wildlife food plots designed to attract doves are exempt from this prohibition, as long as these areas adhere strictly to legitimate agricultural practices. This exemption aims to balance the conservation of wildlife with the preservation of lawful hunting opportunities.

Legal Hunting Areas: Wildlife Food Plots

  1. Mature Wildlife Food Plots: Kentucky recognizes mature wildlife food plots as legitimate hunting areas. These plots, cultivated to attract doves, are permissible for hunting activities.

  2. Restrictions on Additional Attractants: Hunters utilizing wildlife food plots must refrain from introducing any additional attractants to the area. Adherence to this regulation ensures the preservation of fair and ethical hunting practices.

Field Dressing Regulations

Identification Measures for Transportation

Kentucky imposes specific regulations regarding the field dressing and preparation for transportation of various species, excluding doves.

  1. Species Inclusion: The regulations outlined on this page apply to the field dressing or preparation for transportation of specified species, excluding doves.

  2. Identification Requirement: When engaging in field dressing, hunters must ensure the retention of one fully feathered wing or the head on each bird. This measure is crucial for identification purposes.

Retention of One Fully Feathered Wing or Head

  1. Species Preservation: The retention of one fully feathered wing or the head serves the dual purpose of species identification and preservation.

  2. Facilitation of Lawful Transportation: This requirement facilitates the lawful transportation of harvested game by providing a means for authorities to verify species compliance.

Exemption for Doves

  1. Exception for Doves: Doves, uniquely exempt from this regulation, do not require the retention of one fully feathered wing or the head during field dressing or preparation for transportation.

Shotgun Requirements for Game Hunting in Kentucky

Shell Limitation for Game Species (Except Deer)

Kentucky mandates specific requirements for shotguns utilized in the hunting of game species, excluding deer. Adherence to these regulations ensures a controlled and ethical hunting environment.

Shell Plugging Regulations

  1. Shotgun Limitation: All shotguns employed for hunting game species in Kentucky, with the exception of deer, must be plugged to hold a total of three shells. This configuration includes one shell in the chamber and two in the magazine.

  2. Size Limitation: Shotguns with a gauge of 10 or smaller are permissible under these regulations. This restriction aims to standardize and regulate firearm use, promoting responsible hunting practices.

Conservation and Safety Measures

  1. Controlled Ammunition Capacity: The limitation on shell capacity contributes to wildlife conservation efforts by preventing excessive and indiscriminate harvesting.

  2. Enhanced Safety: The three-shell configuration enhances safety during hunting activities, minimizing the potential for overuse and promoting a focused and deliberate approach to harvesting game.

Tagging Requirements for Migratory Game Birds

Mandatory Tagging Regulations

Kentucky enforces strict tagging regulations for migratory game birds to ensure proper documentation and accountability in their handling and transportation.

Tagging Elements

Hunters must adhere to the following requirements when tagging migratory game birds:

  1. Hunter's Signature and Address: Each bird must bear the hunter's signature and address, providing a clear and traceable connection to the responsible individual.

  2. Total Number by Species: The tag should include a record of the total number of birds involved, categorized by species. This detailed documentation aids in monitoring and managing migratory bird populations.

  3. Dates of Harvest: Hunters must include the dates when the birds were taken on the tagging information. This temporal detail is crucial for regulatory compliance and serves as a timeline for the legality of the harvest.

Scope of Tagging Requirement

  1. Transportation by Another Person: Tagging becomes mandatory if migratory game birds are being transported by another person on behalf of the hunter.

  2. Leaving Birds for Services: Whenever birds are left for cleaning, storage (including temporary storage), shipment, or taxidermy services, hunters are obligated to tag them. This ensures accountability throughout various stages of bird handling.

Prevention of Wanton Waste: Retrieval and Custody

Mandatory Retrieval of Migratory Game Birds

Kentucky imposes strict guidelines to prevent wanton waste and ensure responsible harvesting practices, specifically focusing on migratory game birds.

Retrieval Mandate

  1. Immediate Retrieval: Hunters are obligated to retrieve all migratory game birds, if possible, immediately after harvesting.

  2. Hunter Custody in the Field: Once retrieved, migratory game birds must be retained in the custody of the hunter while still in the field. This requirement aims to minimize wastage and encourages responsible hunting behavior.

Prevention of Unnecessary Waste

  1. Conservation Ethic: The immediate retrieval and custody of harvested birds underscore Kentucky's commitment to a conservation ethic, discouraging wanton waste and promoting the respectful treatment of wildlife resources.

  2. Responsible Harvesting Practices: By retaining custody of the harvested birds in the field, hunters contribute to the prevention of unnecessary waste, ensuring that the harvested game is utilized in a manner that aligns with ethical and sustainable hunting practices.

Non-Toxic Shot Requirement for Waterfowl and Migratory Birds

Statewide Prohibition on Lead Shot

Kentucky enforces a statewide prohibition on the possession or use of lead shot when hunting or attempting to take waterfowl or Sandhill cranes.

Non-Toxic Shot Mandate for Waterfowl

  1. Requirement for Waterfowl Hunting: Hunters pursuing waterfowl must exclusively use non-toxic shot. This mandate is in place to minimize environmental impact and ensure the safety of waterfowl populations.

  2. Availability of Non-Toxic Shotshells: Most major manufacturers provide non-toxic shotshells, offering hunters a variety of choices that comply with regulatory standards.

USFWS-Approved Non-Toxic Shot

  1. Authorization Source: Only non-toxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is permissible for waterfowl hunting.

  2. Reference for Approved Shot: The list of currently approved non-toxic shot is detailed in the "Nontoxic Shot Regulations For Hunting Waterfowl and Coots in the U.S." document dated April 19, 2022.

Specific Areas for Migratory Bird Hunting

  1. Exclusive Use of USFWS-Approved Non-Toxic Shot: Certain Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) in Kentucky, including Ballard, Boatwright, Doug Travis, and others listed on signs, mandate the use of only USFWS-approved non-toxic shot when hunting doves, gallinules, rails, woodcock, snipe, or other migratory birds.

Understanding and adhering to these regulations ensures a standardized approach to shot selection, contributing to the conservation of waterfowl and migratory bird populations in Kentucky. Compliance is crucial to maintaining the ecological balance and sustainability of these species.

License and Permit Requirements for Kentucky Hunting

Kentucky Residents

Migratory Birds (Dove, Snipe, Woodcock, Moorhens, Rails, Gallinules, and Sandhill Crane)

  • Ages 12-15: Youth Hunting License*
  • Ages 16-64: Annual** or 1-Day Hunting License + Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit**
  • Ages 65 and older OR Disabled: Senior/Disabled License

Waterfowl (Ducks, Geese, Coots, and Mergansers)

  • Ages 12-15: Youth Hunting License*
  • Ages 16-64: Annual** or 1-Day Hunting License + Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit** + Federal Duck Stamp
  • Ages 65 and older OR Disabled: Senior/Disabled License + Federal Duck Stamp

Nonresidents

Migratory Birds (Dove, Snipe, Woodcock, Moorhens, Rails, Gallinules, and Sandhill Crane)

  • Ages 12-15: Youth Hunting License
  • Ages 16 and older: Annual, 1-Day, or 7-Day Hunting License + Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit

Waterfowl (Ducks, Geese, Coots, and Mergansers)

  • Ages 12-15: Youth Hunting License
  • Ages 16 and older: Annual, 1-Day, or 7-Day Hunting License + Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit + Federal Duck Stamp

*Youth Sportsman's License includes Youth Hunting License
*Resident Sportsman's License includes Annual Hunting License and Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit

Note: Licenses and permits are not required for youths under the age of 12. However, the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey is mandatory for all migratory bird hunters aged 16 and older. Compliance with these regulations ensures lawful and responsible hunting practices in Kentucky.

Hunting Seasons and Regulations in Kentucky

Shooting Hours

Dove, Private Land

  • September 1: 11 a.m. to sunset
  • Remainder of dove season: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Dove, Public Land (WMAs, Leased Fields)

  • September 1 - October 26: 11 a.m. to sunset
  • Second and third segments of dove season: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset

All Other Species

  • One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Daily Bag and Possession Limits

  • Daily Bag Limit: The total limit of a specific migratory game bird species for one calendar day during legal shooting hours.
  • Possession Limit: The total limit of a specific migratory game bird species in your possession at any time, whether on your person or stored in another location.

Note: Migratory birds shot in another state count toward a hunter’s daily and possession limits.

Shooting Hours (Migratory Birds)

Dove, Private Land

  • Sept. 1 only: 11 a.m. to sunset.
  • The remainder of dove season: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Dove, Public Land (WMAs, Leased Fields)

  • Sept. 1 - Oct. 26: 11 a.m. to sunset.
  • Second and third segments of dove season: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Sandhill Crane

  • Sunrise to sunset

All Other Species

  • One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Other Season Notes

Kentucky Migratory Bird Hunting Laws and Regulations

Dove

  • Eurasian collared doves have no limit (leave head and/or wing on during transport for ID).
  • After reaching the 15-bird daily limit of mourning doves, hunters should stop, as distinguishing between mourning doves and Eurasian collared doves in flight is challenging.

Crow

  • Mechanical and electronic devices for crow hunting allowed only during the open season.
  • Depredating crows may require specific federal authorization through the Migratory Bird – Depredation Permit.

Early Wood Duck, Teal, and Canada Goose

  • USFWS-approved non-toxic shot (no larger than size T) required for waterfowl hunting.

Kentucky Migratory Bird Hunting Laws and Regulations

  • September Canada Goose season includes Eastern and Western zones with separate season dates.

Youth/Military Waterfowl Days

  • Statewide seasons for youths (under 16) on Nov. 18, 2023, and Feb. 10, 2024.
  • Military seasons for active-duty military and honorably discharged veterans on Nov. 19, 2023, and Feb. 11, 2024.
  • National Guard members and reservists eligible if on active duty.
  • Proper license and permit, including a federal duck stamp, required for participation.

Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and Dove Hunting Regulations

Access and Scouting on WMAs

  • Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are generally open during regular seasons under statewide regulations unless otherwise specified in the guide.
  • Field conditions on the same WMA may vary, and hunters are advised to scout the fields listed below to ensure preparedness for their planned hunting time.
  • From August 15 until sunrise on September 1, no access is allowed in the dove fields. Scouting during this period must be done from the road or parking lot.

Cooperative Dove Field Program

  • Private fields in the Cooperative Dove Field Program are open for public dove hunting from Sept. 1 to Oct. 26, 2023.
  • These private cooperative fields are closed to public access except on the specified dates. Before the season, hunters may drive by but not leave their vehicles to scout.

Quota Dove Hunts

  • Two quota dove hunting opportunities are available in 2023-24, one at Big Rivers WMA and one at Kentucky River WMA.
  • Quota Hunt fields are closed, except to drawn hunters, from September 1-9, 2023, and open for public dove hunting from Sept. 10, 2023.
  • Special rules for quota hunts include:
    • Drawn hunters may bring one guest hunter.
    • Check-in is required for drawn hunters and guests before hunting.
    • No hunting before 1 p.m. (Eastern).
    • Carry a copy of the selection letter (notification) for both drawn and guest hunters.
    • Drawn hunters must be present for guests to hunt.
    • Hunters must exit the field by 6 p.m. (Eastern).
    • Check out by completing the post-hunt survey.
    • Possession limit of no more than 50 shells.

WESTERN KENTUCKY​

BALLARD COUNTY

Ballard Wildlife Management Area (WMA): Five Fields. Travel U.S. 60 west from Paducah about 16 miles then right onto KY 310. Travel about 6 miles to stop sign and cross KY 358, continuing on KY 310 to stop sign at KY 1105. Cross KY 1105 onto Mitchell Lake Rd. (Turner Landing Rd.) then travel about 1 mile. Go through the gate at Oscar. Field 1 is a sunflower field on the right. Field 2 is a milo field on your left after entering the gate turn left 0.2 miles on right. Field 3 is a sunflower field next to the grain bins. Travel past Field 1, crossing Mitchell Lake levee to crossroads, turn left, Field 4 is wheat/oat fields on both sides of the road or turn right, Field 5 is an oat field 0.5 miles on the right. Signs will be posted for all fields. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)-approved, non-toxic shot only for all field.​

Boatwright (WMA): One Field. U.S. 60 west from Paducah to Barlow. At the blinking light in Barlow turn right onto N 4th St. Go one block (0.1 miles) and turn left on Holloway Landing Road. Stay on it 2.8 miles and turn right on Sallie Crice Rd. In 1.6 miles turn left at Olmsted unit sign and follow for 0.1 miles, sunflower field on the left. Signs will be posted for all fields.U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)-approved, non-toxic shot only for all field

CARLISLE COUNTY

Doug Travis WMA: One field, ten acres in sunflowers. From Bardwell, take KY 123 west to Berkley, then turn right on Fish Lake Road for 5.3 miles. Turn right onto gravel WMA road for 0.3 miles. Field is on the right. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)-approved, non-toxic shot only.

CRITTENDEN COUNTY

Quota Hunt Only Big Rivers WMA: Closed, except for quota hunt only Sept. 1 and Sept. 9. Opens for all hunters beginning Sept. 10. From Sturgis, KY take highway 365 south 2.7 miles. Field will be located off of the highway, 200 yards south of the WMA office.

GRAVES COUNTY

Cooperator Field: 50 acres of harvested or unharvested hemp and 9.5 acres of other habitat. To get there from Mayfield, head south on KY 303. Turn right onto KY 339, then continue for approximately 3 miles. Turn left onto state KY 129. Continue for 1.5 miles then veer left onto Hazel Lane.

MCCRACKEN COUNTY

West Kentucky WMA:

Tract 4: Two fields totaling six acres of sunflowers. From I-24 exit 4 in Paducah, take U.S. 60 west for 10.5 miles to Bethel Church Rd. Take Bethel Church Road north for 3.4 miles and turn east (right) onto gravel WMA road. Fields will be on the north side of the WMA road behind the Disabled Access Pond.

Tract 5: Twenty-three acres of sunflowers in two fields. From I-24 exit 4 in Paducah, take U.S. 60 west for 7.1 miles to KY 996 (Metropolis Lake Rd.). Turn right (north) onto Metropolis Lake Rd. for 3.2 miles to KY 358 (Ogden Landing Rd.), turn left (west) onto KY 358 for 2.3 miles to Boldry School Rd. Field 1: Turn north (right) onto Boldry School Rd for 0.8 miles to first gravel WMA road. Turn west (left) onto gravel WMA road and 12 acre field will be on the north (right) side of the gravel road. Field 2: Turn north (right) onto Boldry School Rd for 0.9 miles and take a 45-degree right onto gravel WMA road, 11 acres of sunflowers are on either side of this road behind Metzger Pond.

Tract 7A: five acres of sunflowers in the field behind the Tracts 7A check-in box on the north side of KY 358 (Ogden Landing Rd.) From I-24 exit 4 in Paducah, take U.S. 60 west for 7.1 miles to KY 996 (Metropolis Lake Rd.). Turn right (north) onto Metropolis Lake Rd. for 3.2 miles to KY 358 (Ogden Landing Rd.), turn left (west) onto KY 358 for 1.2 miles to field on the right (north) side of KY 358. Check-in is required before hunting at the 'A' tract check-in box.

LIVINGSTON COUNTY

Livingston County WMA: From Salem, take KY 133 north (Lola Rd.) for 13.8 miles. Turn left onto Hughes Rd. Parking area will be approx. 0.5 miles through the yellow gate and on the right. From Smithland, KY take U.S. 60 east for 3.3 miles and turn left onto Ky 137 towards Birdsville/Bayou. Continue 15.3 miles and at the stop sign turn right onto KY 133 south (Lola Rd.) In approx. 1.3 miles turn right onto Hughes Rd. and parking area will be 0.5 mile ahead through yellow gate on right.

WEST-CENTRAL KENTUCKY​

BARREN COUNTY​

Barren River Lake WMA: Five fields. From U.S. 31 E, turn north on KY 1318 towards Lucas, turn left on S. Lucas Rd. Travel 1.6 miles to the Goose Island Unit entrance on the right, down gravel road, signs posted. All five fields are adjacent to each other (GPS: 36.882834, -86.072005).

BRECKINRIDGE COUNTY​

Yellowbank WMA: 20 miles north of Hardinsburg on KY 259; 20 miles west of Brandenburg on KY 144 to KY 259. Tract 1 field (13 acres) (GPS: 38.0265, -86.5058). Tract 4 field (11 acres) (GPS: 37.9659, -86.5092). USFWS-approved, non-toxic shot only on Tract 4.

HENDERSON COUNTY​

Sloughs WMA: Two fields. Field 1 (25 acres) (GPS: 37.851993, -87.794056) From the Sloughs WMA office, travel west on Hwy 268 approximately 0.3 miles and turn left onto a gravel road (signs will be posted). Field is located 1 mile down gravel road on the left. Parking available along gravel road. Field 2 (10 acres)(GPS: 37.797210, -87.899980). From Uniontown, take Mt Vernon Road 2.1 miles north to the gravel road leading to Highland Creek Unit (signs will be posted). Turn right and travel 0.5 miles and field will be on the right. Parking available along gravel road. USFWS-approved, non-toxic shot only.

HOPKINS COUNTY​

Harris-Dickerson WMA: One Field (7 acres) (GPS: 37.320637, -87.362838) Entrance to WMA is in the northeast junction of HWY 70 and the Pond River. Field is located 0.3 miles from the entrance on the right.

MUHLENBERG / OHIO COUNTIES​

Peabody WMA (Sinclair Unit): Three fields (14 acres) located on the north and south side of the PM Haul Road just west of KY 176. Field 1 (4 acres) (GPS: 37.249291, -87.031519), Field 2 (7 acres)(GPS: 37.249462, -87.027743), and Field 3 (3 acres)(GPS: 37.247583, -87.030361).

Peabody WMA (Ken Unit): Three fields (33 acres) located on the west side of KY 369 just south of the K1 Road junction. Field 1 (9 acres)(GPS: 37.277685, -86.889265), Field 2 (11 acres)(GPS: 37.274167, -86.889351), and Field 3 (13 acres)(GPS: 37.272528, -86.889522). User permit required for Peabody WMA access; call (270) 476-1889 for more information.

UNION COUNTY​

Mentor/Youth HuntHigginson-Henry WMA: Field 1 is a Mentor/Youth Field. Closed Sept. 1; Mentor/Youth quota hunt only Sept. 2 (Apply online Aug. 7-18. Fifteen Slots are Available). Opens for public hunting beginning Sept. 3. From the intersection of KY 56 and 141, go north on KY 141 for 0.25 miles, turn right and watch for signs(GPS: 37.631111, -87.822386). Field 2 (30 acres): From the intersection of KY 56 and 141, go west on KY 56 for 2.7 miles, field is on the left (GPS: 37.641541, -87.871121).

Big Rivers WMA: From Sturgis, Kentucky at the intersection of U.S. 60 and KY 109, travel north on KY 109 for 1.65 miles, turn left (west) onto KY 1508 and proceed 1 mile to the first Union County WMA entrance on the left.

CENTRAL KENTUCKY​

FRANKLIN COUNTY

T.N. Sullivan WMA: From Frankfort, take U.S. 127 north for 4.1 miles to a right onto Steele Branch Rd. and proceed to the “T” (Owenton Rd). Turn left and travel 0.4 mile to a right onto KY 1262 (Sullivan Lane) for 0.75. mile to WMA. Follow signs to field.

GRANT COUNTY

Curtis Gates Lloyd WMA: Two fields. Take the Crittenden exit from I-75. Follow U.S. 25 south to KY 491. Turn left across railroad tracks and take an immediate right onto Wildlife Rd.

HARRISON COUNTY

Griffith Woods WMA: From I-75, take Georgetown exit 126 and travel east on U.S. 62 toward Cynthiana. Field is on the left 0.5 mile past KY 353 (Russell Cave Rd.) located approximately 15 miles east of Georgetown and 25 miles northeast of Lexington.

HENRY COUNTY​

Quota Hunt OnlyKentucky River WMA: Three fields, Welch Tract. Closed, except for quota hunt only Sept. 1 and Sept. 9. Opens for all hunters beginning Sept. 10. U.S. 421 to KY 561, 1 mile west of Gest (near Lock 3). USFWS-approved, non-toxic shot only.

Cooperator Field: 794 Baugh Road, Pleasureville. From New Castle, travel north on U.S. 421 for 0.5 miles then turn right (east) on KY 202 (Drennon Rd.) for 4.8 miles, then turn right (south) onto Bullitt Hill Rd. for 2.1 miles, then turn left (north) onto KY 1360 (Franklinton Rd.) for 0.4 miles, then turn right (east) onto Baugh Rd. for 1 mile. Drive to the house and beyond, the parking lot for Field 1 is at the barns behind the house.

Cooperator Field: 915 Penny Winkle Road, Pleasureville. From New Castle, travel north on U.S 421 for 0.5 miles then turn right (east) on KY 202 Drennon Rd. for 4.8 miles, then turn right (south) onto Bullitt Hill Rd. for 2.1 miles then turn left (north) onto KY 1360 (Franklinton Rd.) for 1.2 miles, then turn right (east) onto Penny Winkle Rd. for 0.9 miles, the field will be on your right to the south.

MADISON COUNTY

Miller Welch-Central Kentucky WMA: 9 miles southeast of Richmond. From U.S. 421 at Kingston, take a left (east) onto KY 3376 (Dreyfus Rd.) for about 2 miles. Turn right (south) onto Muddy Creek Rd. (just past WMA office) to dove fields on right.

MERCER COUNTY​

Cooperator Field: From exit 59A off Bluegrass Parkway (towards Harrodsburg/ Danville), travel south on U.S. 127 for 2 miles, turn right onto Wheat School Rd. and travel 1.4 miles to a right turn onto Bondville Rd. for approximately 2 miles, turn right onto Hawkins Lane and follow signs to field on the right.

Cooperator Field: From exit 59A off Bluegrass Parkway (towards Harrodsburg/ Danville), travel south on U.S. 127 for 3.8 miles and turn right onto Kirkwood Rd. and travel 0.25 mile and turn right onto Bondville Rd., turn right onto Crews Street, field will be on the right.

NELSON COUNTY

Rolling Fork WMA: From exit 21 off Bluegrass Parkway for U.S. 31E, turn left off exit ramp towards Hodgenville, and travel south for 18 miles. Turn left onto KY 84E, field will be on the right in 8.5 miles.

OWEN COUNTY

Mentor/Youth HuntKentucky River WMA: Two tracts.

Gilbert Tract (2 fields): Closed Sept. 1; Mentor/Youth quota hunt only Sept. 2 (Apply online from Aug. 7-18. 20 slots are available). Opens for public hunting beginning Sept. 3. From U.S. 127 take KY 355. Travel 5.5 miles and turn onto Browns Bottom Rd. Travel 2.4 miles to WMA and follow signs to parking. USFWS-approved, non-toxic shot only.

Chesney Tract (1 field): From U.S. 127 take KY 355. Travel 2.6 miles to parking area on the left. USFWS approved, non-toxic shot only.

SHELBY COUNTY

Cooperator Field: U.S. 60 to KY 395, Travel north about 3 miles, take a left onto KY 1005 for 2 miles, then left onto Harley-Thompson Rd. for 0.25 miles to field on the right.

SPENCER COUNTY

Taylorsville Lake WMA: Two fields. From Taylorsville, travel east on KY 248 about 2.1 miles, turning right onto KY 2239 (Overlook Rd.). Field will be on the right and parking at first and second gravel parking lot.

NORTHEASTERN KENTUCKY​​

BATH COUNTY

Clay WMA: Justice Tract: From I-64 at exit 110, take KY 11 north for 17.8 miles to a left onto Little Flat-Ledford Rd. Travel 0.7 mile to parking area on right.

Cooperator Field: From Owingsville, take KY 111 north 6.5 miles. Field is on right off Old Wyoming Rd.

CARTER COUNTY

Grayson Lake WMA: Rosedale Fields: From KY 60 in the town of Grayson, follow KY 7 south towards Grayson Lake for 8 miles and turn left onto WMA access road. USFWS-approved, non-toxic shot only.

FLEMING COUNTY

Clay WMA: Marietta Booth Tract: From Carlisle, take KY 32 east for about 12 miles then right at WMA sign. Go 0.3 mile to WMA parking area on left.

GREENUP COUNTY

South Shore WMA: From South Shore take U.S. 23 east to a left (north) at the South Shore WMA sign for 0.4 mile. Field is adjacent to parking area. USFWS-approved, non-toxic shot only.

MORGAN COUNTY

Paintsville Lake WMA: Fields near intersection of KY 172 and Patoker Rd. at Relief, KY. From West Liberty follow KY 172 east for 20 miles. Dove field will be on the right side of KY 172. From Paintsville travel KY 40 west for 1.5 miles to Staffordsville, turn right (west) on KY 172 and continue for 14 miles. Dove field will be on the left along KY 172. USFWS-approved, non-toxic shot only.

SOUTHEASTERN KENTUCKY​​

ADAIR COUNTY

Green River Lake WMA (Snake Creek): From Columbia head north on HWY 55 for 1.6 miles, turn right onto HWY 551. Stay on HWY 551 for 4.3 miles and turn right onto Snake Creek Road, travel 2.2 miles to field on the left.

GREEN COUNTY

Mentor/Youth HuntCooperator Fields: Closed Sept. 1; Mentor/Youth quota hunt only Sept. 2 (Apply online from Aug. 7-18. 25 slots are available). Opens for public hunting beginning Sept. 3. Take U.S. 68/70 south from Greensburg 5.9 miles; turn right onto KY 218 for 2 miles, then left onto Roy Bagby Rd. Fields at the end of road on right.

Cooperator Field: From Greensburg, take KY 61 north for 8.1 miles, turn left onto KY 569 for 5.3 miles, turn right on to KY 566 for 2.5 miles to designated parking areas. Fields are on the right (east) side of KY 566.​

Cooperator Field: From Greensburg, take KY-61 north 0.9 miles. Turn left onto KY-88 for 7.8 miles. Turn left onto Pierce-Donansburg Rd. for 2.7 miles. Turn left onto R. L. Gentry Rd. to dove fields on both sides of R.L. Gentry Rd. 37.20577, -85.60290

LINCOLN COUNTY

Cooperator Field: From Stanford, take U.S. 27 north for 0.16 mile to a left onto KY 590. Travel 1.5 miles to a gravel lane on the left. Turn left and proceed to the marked parking area.

PULASKI COUNTY

Rockcastle River WMA: From Somerset, take KY 80 east for 13.2 miles, turn right onto Rocky Tree Rd. for 292 ft. and then turn left on KY 1675 for 4.7 miles to Acorn-Ano Rd. Turn left on Acorn-Ano Rd. and travel 3.0 miles to the marked gravel parking area.

TAYLOR COUNTY

Green River Lake WMA (Elkhorn): From Campbellsville, take KY 70 east for 4.1 miles. Gravel parking lot will be on the left through gate to top of the hill.

Green River Lake WMA (Robinson Creek): From Campbellsville, take KY 70 east for 5.3 miles. Gravel parking lot will be on the right, go through gate to field.

Closed Areas for Migratory Game Bird and Waterfowl Hunting

Closed to Migratory Game Bird Hunting

  1. Robinson Forest WMA

    • The main block of Robinson Forest WMA is closed to migratory game bird hunting.
  2. Grayson Lake WMA

    • The portion within three-quarters of a mile of the dam, the Deer Creek Branch, the shores of Camp Webb, and the state park is closed to migratory game bird hunting.
  3. Yatesville Lake

    • The Greenbrier Creek Branch of Yatesville Lake, including all islands north of the mouth of Greenbrier Creek Branch, is closed to migratory game bird hunting.
  4. Land Between The Lakes NRA

    • Open annually from Sept. 30 - Nov. 30.

Closed to Waterfowl Hunting

  1. Western Kentucky Coalfields Region
    • All designated goose refuge lakes within the Western Kentucky coalfields region are closed to all waterfowl hunting.

Waterfowl Refuges

  1. Lake Cumberland WMA

    • Portions including Wesley Bend (bounded by Fishing Creek, Fishing Creek Road, and Beech Grove Road) and Yellowhole (bounded by Fishing Creek Road and Hickory Nut Road) are closed to the public annually from Oct. 15 - March 15.
  2. Ohio River Waterfowl Refuge

    • From Smithland Lock and Dam upstream to the powerline crossing at river mile 911.5, closed to hunting annually from Oct. 15 - March 15. Stewart Island is closed to the public annually from Oct. 15 - March 15.
  3. Peabody WMA

    • Portions of Sinclair and Homestead mines marked by signs are closed to the public annually from Oct. 15 - March 15.
  4. Sloughs WMA

    • The Sauerheber Unit is closed to the public annually from Nov. 1 - March 15, except for the Crenshaw and Duncan tracts, which are open for waterfowl hunting only.
  5. Yellowbank WMA

    • The area posted by signs is closed to the public annually from Oct. 15 - March 15.

Special WMA Restrictions

Ballard WMA and Swan Lake Portion of Boatwright WMA (Ballard County)

  • Dove Season: Sept. 1 - Oct. 13, 2023
  • Snipe Season: Sept. 21 - Oct. 13, 2023
  • Rails, Moorhen, Gallinules Season: Sept. 1 - Oct. 13, 2023
  • Woodcock Hunting: Not permitted.
  • Closed Areas: Areas designated by signs are closed to all hunting.

Miller Welch-Central Kentucky WMA (Madison County)

  • Dove Season: Sept. 1 - Oct. 13, 2023
  • Snipe Season: Sept. 18 - Oct. 13, 2023
  • Woodcock Hunting: Not permitted.

Pioneer Weapons Areas

  • Breech- and muzzle-loading shotguns may be used to take wood ducks and teal on the shoreline portions of the Pioneer Weapons Areas at:
    1. Cave Run Lake
    2. All waterfowl at Barren River Lake

West Kentucky WMA (McCracken County)

  • Open under statewide seasons for:
    • Dove
    • Snipe
    • Woodcock
  • Closed during gun deer seasons.
  • Closed to September Canada Goose Season.

Other Special Hunting Areas

Fort Campbell Military Reservation

  • Address: 6645 101st Airborne Division Road, Ft. Campbell, KY 42223
  • Phone: (270) 798-9824
  • Website: Fort Campbell iSportsman

Fort Knox Military Reservation

  • Hunt Control Office: 4916 Wilson Road, Building 9297, Fort Knox, KY 40121
  • Phone: (502) 624-7311 or (502) 624-2712
  • Website: Fort Knox iSportsman

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge

Hunters are advised to contact these specific areas directly for detailed information on special seasons, regulations, and any additional requirements. Following the provided contact details ensures accurate and up-to-date information for hunting in these designated areas.

Youth Hunting Opportunities

Kentucky provides special mentor-youth dove hunting fields during the 2023 season in Union, Owen, and Green counties. For locations and directions, [click here](link not provided).

Mentor/Youth Dove Hunts

  • Open Date: Sept. 2
  • Open to: Pre-registered hunters only
  • Introduction: Adult dove hunters can introduce a young hunter (ages 15 and younger) to the challenge and tradition of the early season dove hunt.
  • Hunt Rules:
    • Pre-registration required (see rules below for details).
    • Unreserved slots available on a first-come, first-served basis after pre-registration.
    • Mentor/Youth dove fields on wildlife management areas reopen to the public on Sept. 3.

2023 Mentor/Youth Hunt Rules

  • Open only to adults accompanied by a youth (ages 15 and younger).
  • Both mentor and youth can hunt but must do so from the same field location (stake). All hunters must stay within 15 feet of their assigned shooting location.
  • One adult may take two youths to these hunts. Two shotguns are allowed per stake. Each hunter is allowed 15 doves.
  • Strict limitation on the number of hunters in Mentor/Youth Hunt fields for a safe and quality hunt.
  • Field slots available by advanced registration from 8 a.m. (Eastern) Aug. 7, until 4:30 p.m. (Eastern), Aug. 18. Unreserved slots available on a first-come, first-served basis at the field on the day of the hunt until all slots are filled.
  • Hunting groups must check in and check out with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife staff.
  • No new hunting groups allowed once the field is filled.
  • Hunting groups may move to different staked sites when the assigned group vacates that site.
  • Guns must remain at the shooting location (stake) when retrieving downed birds.
  • Shooting hours limited to 2 - 7 p.m., local time. All hunting groups must leave the field by 7:30 p.m., local time.
  • Hunters responsible for cleaning up their shooting location before leaving.
  • Mentors and youth must follow safety rules; failure to do so will result in termination of hunting privilege for that day.
  • Hunter education and licensing requirements apply.

 

Sign Up for Huntlink!

Huntlink is a free program that will allow us to send you state regulations to your email for the states you hunt in. The benefits of this are:

1. PDF Format - Downloadable

2. Able to be read with or without reception

3. Delivered right to your email with no ads

And much more!

Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.