Department of Fish and Wildlife
New acreage open to hunting at Clay, Dr. James R. Rich Wildlife Management Areas
Ky. – Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts have new destinations to
consider this fall with two parcels in Bath and Owen counties now open for
new tracts, acquired by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources,
Wildlife Management Area (WMA) by 467 acres and Dr.
James R. Rich WMA by 601 acres. Each is open to hunting under
the regulations currently in place for their respective WMAs.
new areas will be open for this weekend’s youth-only deer season, as well as
archery deer season. The areas will only be open under quota hunts for the
modern gun seasons. In addition, the Clay WMA property will be open for quota
hunts only for quail and grouse.
WMA is not open for muzzleloader hunting while Clay WMA is open to muzzleloader
properties were purchased with funding from the Kentucky Wetland and Stream
Mitigation Program. The Wildlife Restoration Program, a matching grant program
funded by the federal excise taxes on guns and ammunition, also provided money
for the purchase of the Rich WMA addition. No general fund tax dollars or
department license dollars were used in either land acquisition.
department utilizes different funding sources to help expand the amount of
public land available to hunters and anglers in Kentucky,” said Chris Garland,
assistant Wildlife Division director for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “About 95
percent of the state is privately owned. By adding these properties, the public
has more than 1,000 additional acres to enjoy. The new tracts offer a lot of
opportunity and potential.”
Indian Creek tract of Clay WMA borders the Licking River in Bath County and is
approximately 60 percent open ground and 40 percent forested.
of the open land has had a history of row cropping and will be managed for
quality early successional habitat, including native grasslands, to improve
habitat for a variety of species,” said Nathan Gregory, Northeast Wildlife
Region Coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “The forested areas will be
treated for invasive species and managed for beneficial shrub communities and
mast production along with quality riparian habitat along the Licking River.”
funds will be used for the restoration of riparian forests and aquatic habitat
along small headwater streams, Indian Creek and the Licking River. Stream
restoration work is anticipated to start next year and continue into 2017.
can expect to encounter deer and turkey with opportunities for small game and
furbearers, as well.
than a mile of the river will be accessible on the property. The department is
exploring the potential to add a boat ramp that would improve river access. The
property is 40 river miles downstream of Cave Run Lake and 20 miles upstream
from the main tract of Clay WMA.
access the Indian Creek tract of Clay WMA from Mt. Sterling, take KY 11 north
toward Flemingsburg for about 17 miles to KY 1325, turn right onto KY 1325 and
travel about 1.5 miles to KY 1602/Oakley Pebble Road. Turn left on KY
1602/Oakley Pebble Road and the property entrance will be about 4.5 miles down the
road on the left. From Owingsville, take KY 111 north for about 6.5 miles to KY
1602/Oakley Pebble road. Turn left onto KY 1602/Oakley Pebble Road and continue
about 2.5 miles. The property entrance will be on the right.
new property added to Rich WMA is informally known as the “Red Oak” tract and
makes a total of 2,273 acres available on the WMA for public hunting, fishing,
hiking and sightseeing opportunities in the populous Bluegrass Region.
in southern Owen County, the new property is expected to receive a fair amount
of hunting pressure because of its reputation and location. Owen County has the
highest concentration of deer in the state and last year led all counties with
more than 3,400 deer harvested.
of the newly acquired acreage consists of forest that will provide visitors
with expectations to encounter not only deer but good populations of squirrels
and turkeys,” said Derek Beard, Bluegrass Wildlife Region Coordinator for
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
management plans include stream rehabilitation and the enhancement of riparian
habitats on approximately 41,000 feet of streams, mostly intermittent channels
that run throughout the property. Additionally, future activities may include
forest stand improvement in the oak and hickory forest to improve wildlife
habitat, tree or shrub plantings in openings to reduce forest fragmentation,
and invasive species removal as needed. Sites may also be identified for
development of vernal pools, a type of wetland that contains water for part of
access the newly acquired property from Frankfort, travel on US 127 north to KY
607. Turn right on KY 607 and travel 10 miles. Turn right onto Old
Owenton-Georgetown Road. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife staff recently built two
new parking areas. Boundaries are identified with signs and blazed with yellow
information kiosk for the WMA also is located off KY 227 on the right, past the
intersection with KY 1474.
these and all WMAs in Kentucky are available online at fw.ky.gov.
Hunting and Trapping Guide also is available on the website and
wherever hunting licenses are sold.