New WMA in Kentucky Offers Hunting Opportunities

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Kentucky hunters now have 2,293 new acres to pursue deer, elk, turkey and small game (except quail) in southeast Breathitt County at Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Previously, the area was only open for quota elk hunts.

"This is part of our ongoing commitment to provide more hunting access to the public," said Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Jon Gassett. "We are extremely grateful that the University of Kentucky, the landowner, made this happen."

Paul Van Booven WMA is located in southeastern Breathitt County. The WMA consists of 2,293 acres of reclaimed surface mine and forest land. The University of Kentucky-owned property is the site of many ongoing research projects related to forest management and mine reclamation. Good to moderate populations of elk, rabbits, deer, turkey and songbirds exist on the area.

The area will be open to foot traffic only beyond any closed gate. ATVs and horseback riding are not permitted on the WMA.

The area is open to statewide regulations for deer, turkey, and small game hunting with exception of quail. Quail hunting will be prohibited due to planned research on habitat management effects on reclaimed mine grounds. The area opens one hour before sunrise and closes one hour after sunset. Be sure to follow all signage as some areas are off-limits to the public.

Directions & Description: (2,293 acres); Breathitt County, Located off KY 476. From Jackson - travel approximately 6 miles on KY 15 South, then east on KY 476 approximately 12 miles. At the Breathitt/Perry county line, turn left onto Buckhorn Creek Road and travel less than one mile to the gated entrance on the right. Directions from Hazard - travel approximately 7 miles east on KY 80, then west on KY 476 approximately 14 miles. Turn right on Buckhorn Creek Road and follow directions above.

A map of the property is available online at, then clicking onto the "Species Information, Maps and GIS" link.