New Acreage Added to Clay WMA

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Two new tracts of public land totaling nearly 700 acres in Fleming County will be open to turkey, small game, grouse and deer hunting. The tracts, recently acquired by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), are located near the main tract of Clay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Marietta Booth tract of Clay WMA.

“The boundaries are marked and there is signage,” said Don Walker, assistant director of wildlife for the KDFWR. “Parking facilities are being developed. The public will need to park along maintained roads for now.”

The two new tracts will be part of Clay WMA. The 120-acre Webb tract is located adjacent to the Marietta Booth tract of Clay WMA, north of Pike Bluff Road. The 535-acre Bailey tract is across the Licking River from the main tract of Clay WMA, south of Tea Run Road.

“The Webb tract is typical of the Outer Bluegrass region,” said Steve Bonney, public lands biologist for the KDFWR. “The previous landowner worked with our private lands biologists to improve habitat, convert fescue into native grasses and plant trees. The Bailey tract is primarily wooded along with some open lands.”

There are a few private residences that remain on these public lands. “We request that visitors respect the privacy of these private residences that remain on these areas,” Walker said.

The new hunting lands hold populations of deer, turkeys, grouse, rabbits, quail and furbearers. Both the Webb and Bailey tracts will be open to the same hunting regulations as the Marietta Booth tract of Clay WMA.

State Senator Walter Blevins Jr., D-West Liberty, and State Representative Mike Denham, D-Maysville, applauded the additional land acquisitions, saying Kentucky hunters and anglers need more public access.

“I appreciate the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s and the Department’s interest in this area and their commitment to providing more hunting and public access on these properties,” said Denham.

Blevins echoed those sentiments, saying, “hunting is a great tradition in Kentucky, and it’s good to see that these lands are being set aside for public use and will be available for hunting and fishing.”

For more information about other public lands available for hunting, check the WMA listings in the back of the June 2005-July 2006 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide, available wherever hunting licenses are sold. You may request a copy of the guide by calling 1-800-858-1549.