Kentucky Public Land Deer Hunting
When most people think giant whitetails, they think about states like Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio. But Kentucky is among the best states in the nation for Boone & Crockett bucks. The Bluegrass State is also loaded with over 1.5 million acres of public hunting land. Here are some of the best public land hunting spots for Kentucky whitetails.
Daniel Boone National Forest
The Daniel Boone National Forest covers over 700,000 acres in Eastern Kentucky. Much of that is steep forested ridgelines, lakes, and streams. Much of the forest is made up of mast producing hardwoods. This can be both a benefit and a bane for deer hunters. If you hit the woods in the right spot on the right day you will literally be in for a deer bonanza. But lots of acorns on the ground can also spread deer out and keep them off their feet with contented bellies. But with so much space available, the Daniel Boone National Forest is one of the best pieces of public land to hunt trophy bucks. This is especially true for those willing to put a few extra miles on their boots.
Green River Lake Wildlife Management Area
With over 21,000 acres in Taylor and Adair Counties, Green River Lake WMA has a lot to offer Kentucky deer hunters. The habitat is mostly hardwoods forest with clearings and food plots. Green River Lake provides stunning views and a reliable water source for whitetails. If you’re looking for trophy deer, this is a great destination. Quality Deer Management regulations apply on this property.
Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
At over 100,000 acres nestled between Barkley and Kentucky Lakes, Land Between The Lakes is one of the premiere public hunting destinations in the state. The terrain is varied from gently rolling to steep with forests, open meadows, old farm sites, and food plots. Forest lands range from mixed hardwoods to deciduous forest. This area has draws for quota hunts and special permits are required. Check regulations before hunting.
Peabody Wildlife Management Area
Peabody WMA is perennially one of the top public land deer hunting spots in Kentucky. It’s 46,000+ acres is mostly made up of reclaimed strip mines. The terrain is rough and can go from high ridges to swamps in a hurry so it’s not for the hunter who has a hard time getting around. However, there is an area for disabled hunters. A $15 user permit is required for everyone on the property, even if you‘re not hunting.
Sloughs Wildlife Management Area
Sloughs WMA offers some of the best waterfowl hunting in the Ohio River Valley. But whitetail hunters will also find excellent hunting on the 10,000+ acres. Habitat consists of ridges, sloughs, woodlands, brush, and food plots. A pair of rubber boots will come in handy when hunting Sloughs WMA but the deer hunting is worth the effort.
Other public hunting spots worth checking out include Barren River WMA, Clarks River WMA, Lake Cumberland WMA, and Taylorsville WMA.