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Kentucky (1 Viewer)

GR Triever

Well-known member
Here is a list of the areas for I have available for wildlife viewing and birding within 1 1/2 hours of my hometown (Paducah) in far Western KY:

Kentucky, Purchase Region

1. REELFOOT LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE (2,500 acres): Fulton Co., on KY 94 W. of Hickman; adequate trails within area. Flat river bottomland, mixture of woods and cleared areas. Special hunting regulations and seasons. Observation platform near main entrance to Long Point Refuge off county road 1282 and KY 311. Offering historical and wildlife-related exhibits, the visitor center, located between Samburg and Union City, Tenn. on Hwy. 157 and E of Walnut Log, is open weekends, January-mid-March. For more information contact Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, 4343 Hwy. 157, Union City, TN 38261, (901) 538-2481. Owned by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

2. OBION CREEK WMA (3,521 acres): Hickman, Fulton, Carlisle cos. Wallace tract (1099 acres) is W. of Hwy. 307 at Obion Creek bridge. Bottomland hardwood swamp. Travis Slough(329 acres), off Hwy. 80 W. of Milburn, has good numbers of waterfowl during wet winters. No developed access. L. E. Schaaf tract (1199 acres), Fulton Co., off Upper Bottom Rd. N. of Hickman. Wintering bald eagles. Letourneau Woods tract, Fulton Co., 870 acres of old growth hardwood forest, seasonal flooding. Access to be developed in 2002; best view from Schaaf tract. (270) 753-6913. Owned by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

3. WESTVACO WMA (3,600 acres) Hickman, Carlisle cos., S. of Wickliffe along Mississippi River. From Bardwell take KY 123

to Berkley, watch for area sign. Bottomland hardwood swamp and cropland. Great blue heron rookery. Free hunting permit
required. See listing below for additional contact information; (270) 753-6913. Closed Nov. 1-March 15. Owned by MeadWestvaco.

4. WINFORD WMA (237 acres): Carlisle Co., 6 mi. NW. of Bardwell on US 62. No roads or trails within area. Primarily flat creek bottomland with several lakes. Fishing available. Owned by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

5. BOATWRIGHT WMA (7,981 acres): 8 units in Ballard, Carlisle cos., Peal Unit (2,219 acres): 4 mi. W. of Barlow on Mounds
City Landing Rd. River bottomland with marshlands and cypress swamps; 2 roads, access to 3 oxbow lakes. Special regulations
for waterfowl hunting. Upper Blenderman Unit (450 acres): same address as Peal. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting. Zola Taress Unit (100 acres): same address as Peal. Open under statewide regulations. Stevens Unit (120 acres): same address as Peal. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting. Mitchell Unit (245 acres): 1 mi. W. of Wickliffe on US 60. Swan Lake Unit (2,100 acres): 6 mi. NW. of Wickliffe on US 51/60. Primarily bottomland and flood plain area of the Ohio River, with several lakes and some interior gravel roads. Wintering ring-billed and herring gulls, double-crested cormorants, waterfowl, bald eagles. Special regulations for hunting, advance application for waterfowl hunting. Except for designated observation area, Swan Lake Unit closed Oct. 15-March 15 as waterfowl refuge. Public hunting closed when floodwaters prevent safe entry to blinds by wheeled vehicles. Fishing and boating available. Winford Unit (240 acres): 1 mi. S. of Wickliffe on Hwy. 51. Open under statewide regulations. Olmstead Unit (1,700 acres): 4 mi. W. of Barlow on Salle Crice Rd. Closed to deer hunting after Nov.1. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting. Mobility impaired access to permit holders in designated area. (270) 224-2244. Owned by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

6. BALLARD HUNTING UNIT (400 acres): Ballard Co., 4 mi. S. of Oscar off KY 1105 on Salle Crice Rd. Area is not part of Ballard WMA. No roads or trails within area. (270) 224-2244. Owned by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

7. BALLARD WMA (8,473 acres): Ballard Co., 30 mi. W. of Paducah; from Paducah take US 60 17 mi. to LaCenter, take KY 358 N. 5.6 mi. to KY 1105. Turn W. through Bandana, follow KY 1105 to KY 473. Travel 6 mi. to Lodge Rd. Several roads within area. Sloughs and agricultural bottomlands, some hardwood stands. Wintering bald eagles, eagle nests. Fishing in 11 lakes on area. Special regulations for hunting and fishing. Fee, advance application required of deer, waterfowl hunters. Write Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources for additional information. Area closed Oct. 15-March 15. (270) 224-2244. Owned by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

8. WEST KENTUCKY WMA (6,463 acres): McCracken Co., 7 mi. from I-24, exit 4, in Paducah, on US 60 in Future City. Turn n. on KY 996 for 3.6 mi. Turn W. on KY 358 for 2.6 mi. to office. Primarily flat terrain, old farms, small woodlots, 500 acres of woodlands. Seven fishing ponds; picnicking, hiking; kennels and stalls for use during field trials. Site of Invitational Quail Championship Field Trial, first Sat. after Thanksgiving, featuring nation’s 12 top dogs. Horseback riding on designated trails only. (502) 488-3233. Owned/leased by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

9. OHIO RIVER ISLANDS WMA (1,375 acres): Livingston Co., Ohio River upstream from Smithland Lock and Dam. Birdsville Island and surrounding river area is a waterfowl refuge closed Oct. 15-March 15; public hunting allowed prior to closure. Twin Sisters, Pryor, Rondeau islands and a large marsh area located between Pryor and Twin Sisters islands provide waterfowl hunting from temporary blinds. (270) 753-6913. Owned by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

10. KALER BOTTOMS WMA (1,930 acres): Graves Co., 8 mi. NE. of Mayfield between Hwys. 131, 408 and Tim Owen Rd. Cypress swamps, hardwoods, low terrain throughout. Limited access, especially when bottoms are wet. Swamp rabbit, great blue heron rookery, black vulture roost. No developed facilities. Mobility impaired access to permit holders in designated area. Owned by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

11. CLARKS RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE (5,000 acres): Marshall Co., along an 18-mile stretch of Clarks River; nearest town is Benton. No established roads or trails. Clarks River is the newest national Wildlife Refuge. Land is still being purchased to complete projected size of 18,000 acres. Hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing. (502) 527-5770. Owned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

12. KENTUCKY LAKE WMA (3,500 acres): Calloway, Marshall, Lyon cos. Public areas consist of islands, mud flats and lowlands at back of bays and a narrow strip along much of Kentucky Lake shoreline. Access by boat and several TVA-access points and rural roads. Fishing and boating on Kentucky Lake. Owned by TVA.

13. BEECHY CREEK WMA (122 acres): Calloway Co. 1 mi. E. of new Concord off Hwy. 444; borders portion of Kentucky Lake WMA area. Bottomland hardwoods, some fields. Owned by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

14. LAND BETWEEN the LAKES NATIONAL RECREATIONAL AREA (107,000 acres): Trigg, Lyon cos., between Kentucky and Barkley lakes. Access by KY 453 (The Trace) and KY 80. LBL is the largest inland peninsula in the United States. It is the second largest contiguous block of forested public land east of the Mississippi.


LBL has the largest publicly owned buffalo herd east of the Mississippi River. LBL has more than 1,300 plant species, over 230 bird species, and 53 different mammal species.
LBL is an active participant in the nation's efforts to re-establish the eagle population in Western Kentucky and Tennessee. A
hacking program was designed in 1980. Hacking is a traditional falconers' term meaning the gradual return of raptors to the wild
without human imprinting. Between 1980-1988, 44 Bald Eagles were reintroduced to the shorelines of LBL. Currently, LBL is
home to a wintering eagle population of more than 150 birds, and there are 11 active nesting sites. In February 1996, after a 150-year absence in the region, LBL reintroduced elk into a 700-acre Elk & Bison Prairie.

15. LAKE BARKLEY WMA (5,429 acres): Trigg, Lyon, Livingston cos. Public lands consist primarily of islands in lake with one maintained as waterfowl refuge. Fishing, boating and other water-related sports. Owned by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

16. FORT CAMPBELL MILITARY RESERVATION (85,000 acres): Christian, Trigg cos.; 15 mi. S. of Hopkinsville on US 41A. Vast system of inter-post roads, some hard surfaced. Terrain varies from gently rolling to steeply hilly, with a variety of forest wildlife and farm habitat, sinkholes and beaver lakes that attract wood ducks and shorebirds. Trout streams available and 2 lakes with warm water fish species (permit required). Post also provides courses for bird-dog field trials. Special hunting regulations. (270) 789-2175. Owned by U.S. Army.

17. PENNYRILE STATE FOREST (17,000 acres): Christian Co., 8 mi. S. of Dawson Springs. Many trails, roads (some paved) within area. Hilly terrain, primarily timbered. Quality Deer Management: special regulations. Hiking trail. Food, lodging, camping and recreational facilities at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park. Fishing in Beshear, Pennyrile lakes. Owned by Ky. Div. of Forestry.

18. TRADEWATER WMA (724 acres): Hopkins-Christian county line, shares boundary with Pennyrile Forest. Access 1 mi. S. of Dawson Springs on KY 109; additional entry points on both sides of road ½ mi. S. of Tradewater River bridge. Steep, hilly terrain, some steep bluffs, almost completely forested. Area under Quality Deer Management regulations. Hiking-birding trail with unique rock overhangs, bluffs, small caves. Owned by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

19. JONES-KEENEY WMA (2,250 acres): Caldwell Co., between Princeton and Dawson Springs on US 62. Very few trails, roads within area. Hilly terrain, forested sections, old growth forest, some clearings in bottoms, on ridges. Scenic overlook. Bow and rifle ranges, rules posted. Owned by Ky. Dept. Fish and Wildlife Resources.

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