A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Keeping backyard bird feeders clean can help control spread of disease among Kentucky’s songbirds

Kentuckians are encouraged to pay special attention to their backyard bird feeders after recent tests found salmonella in several deceased songbirds collected from Bullitt, Calloway and Washington counties. In response to recent reports from the public, the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources collected several deceased pine siskins from the counties and submitted them to the Southeastern Cooperative...

Department of Fish and Wildlife to debut online turkey hunting education series March 4

Fooling a spring gobbler and calling it into range is challenging for even the most experienced turkey hunter. Conservation educators with the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are developing a new virtual web series to lessen the learning curve for hunters of all experience levels. The five-part series debuts March 4 on the department’s YouTube channel as part of the agency’s Field to...

Salato Wildlife Center reopens March 16 with reduced capacity; face coverings, social distancing required

The Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort will reopen to the public on March 16. The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources operates the center as part of its mission to educate the public about the state’s native wildlife, as well as hunting and fishing opportunities. The facility provides indoor and outdoor viewing opportunities for a variety of wildlife, including a black bear, bald...

Ky. Fish and Wildlife accepting applications for 12 conservation officers; application deadline March 5

Applications are now being accepted for 12 conservation officer positions with the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The deadline to apply is 7 p.m. (EST) on March 5. Applicants must be 21 years old and possess a valid driver’s license. Preferred candidates will have Peace Officer Professional Standards (POPS) certification. Positions are available in 12 counties. Available counties are...

Christmas for the Fishes replenishes habitat; donation program collects live Christmas trees

Recycle your real Christmas tree after the holiday season by donating it for use by Kentucky’s underwater inhabitants. Starting Dec. 26, the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will be accepting natural Christmas trees at more than two dozen drop-off locations across the state for its annual Christmas for the Fishes program. Tree collection will continue between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily through...

West Kentucky WMA open deer hunt procedures changed; sign up by phone or email beginning Jan. 4

Hunters interested in the open firearms deer hunt at West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in McCracken County are advised that the sign-up process and some procedures will be different for the three-day opportunity in January. Instead of in-person signups, registration will be by phone and email only. The changes are necessary to ensure the health and safety of hunters and WMA staff. The shotgun...

Waterfowl hunters need to take precautions, avoid boating accidents during winter months

Waterfowl hunters often forget they are boaters, too. Failing to keep safe boating in mind while hunting can lead to disastrous results. “A person in distress in the water can be a bad situation in summertime, but in cold weather, due to water temperatures, your danger level is exponentially increased,” said Marcus Bowling, boating education coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife...

Kentucky Lake to host tests of experimental invasive Asian carp harvest techniques in December

Waterfowl hunters, anglers and boaters should anticipate limited access to portions of five bays on Kentucky Lake periodically over the next several weeks as officials evaluate experimental Asian Carp harvest techniques. The clearing of submerged debris from designated “Asian Carp Harvest Areas” began Tuesday in parts of Smith and Pisgah bays. Similar clearing of harvest areas also will occur in...

Conservation officers file charges in killing of Fort Mitchell deer; Union man faces multiple counts

A Boone County man is facing multiple wildlife-related and other charges following an investigation by Kentucky conservation officers into the killing of a trophy deer in Kenton County. Robert J. Koch, 58, of Union, is charged with hunting on private property without permission, illegally killing the deer and improperly reporting the harvest. Conservation officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish...

Kentucky’s modern gun deer season opens Nov. 14; deer harvest numbers trending up this year

The arrival of autumn brings beautiful fall colors, holiday excitement and for hunters, deer hunting in Kentucky. About 300,000 Kentuckians hunt deer each year. The state’s deer herd also draws thousands of hunters from other states throughout the different seasons, contributing heartily to the commonwealth’s tourism industry. Deer hunting greatly benefits Kentucky’s economy — resulting in...

Prescribed burn planned at Taylorsville Lake WMA; controlled fire to improve forest, grassland health

A portion of Taylorsville Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is scheduled to be closed for two days in November for a prescribed burn south of Old Briar Ridge Road (KY 3228) in Spencer County. A prescribed burn is a controlled fire that improves forest and grassland health, thereby enhancing the habitat (including food sources) preferred by native wildlife. As part of an ongoing hardwood forest improvement...

Fish and Wildlife offers virtual hunter education; exemption permit now free, limited time only

All of Kentucky’s hunter education requirements can now be fulfilled virtually, eliminating the need for in-person instruction. For those unable to complete the necessary requirements before going hunting, the department is now offering its one-year exemption permit at no cost, but only for a limited time. Hunter education, which covers the basics of hunting and provides valuable instruction on firearms...

September is quota hunt application month; options include deer, waterfowl and pheasant

Applications for public quota hunts on public lands for deer, waterfowl, and pheasants, and statewide for sandhill cranes, will be taken online through the end of September. This year, Kentucky will offer 38 quota deer hunts, pheasant hunts on three wildlife management areas (WMAs) and several waterfowl hunts on WMAs. The sandhill crane quota is for statewide hunting. The application period for these...

Memorial Day weekend launches summer boating season; conservation officers to monitor waters

Summer-like temperatures have arrived in Kentucky and many families will be headed to their favorite lake during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, May 23-25. “Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of recreational boating season in Kentucky,” said Maj. Shane Carrier, assistant director of law enforcement for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Officers will be monitoring...

Most bear problems preventable; residents urged to work together for the benefit of people and wildlife

The arrival of spring means bear activity is on the rise in Kentucky. An increase in activity can also mean an increase in bear complaints. For those experiencing problems, it may be easier to make some simple adjustments rather than trying to change the bear’s behavior. Most bear problems center around food. To a bear, garbage or an open dumpster can equate to a quick and easy meal. Even food scraps...

Unveiling of hunters for 2020 Kentucky elk hunt to be announced virtually via live-stream on May 16

This season’s unveiling of hunters for the 2020 Kentucky elk hunt will be held at 1 p.m. (EDT) May 16 at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. Due to the novel coronavirus, the event will be held virtually without an audience. This decision was made by the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as part of the Commonwealth’s...

Road opening in Anderson County along Salt River benefits anglers fishing at Taylorsville Lake

A portion of Old River Road paralleling the Salt River in Anderson County opens this Saturday (March 7) to anglers wishing to fish the headwaters of Taylorsville Lake for the spring white bass run. As spring nears and water temperatures approach the low 50s, white bass will “run” from downstream up into the headwaters to spawn, providing fast and exciting fishing action. The gated accesses at Palmer...

Farmers can earn $10,000 in Cooperative Dove Field Program; enrollment period extended to March 10

Farmers can earn extra money and support Kentucky’s hunting heritage by participating in the Cooperative Dove Field Program offered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The program leases privately owned and managed fields for public dove hunting in the fall. Enrollment is open through March 10. “This creative program gives our farmers an additional income opportunity, and...

West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area deer hunt spots reduced because of recent flooding

High water from the Ohio River continues to impact portions of West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in McCracken County. Due to flooding, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is adjusting the number of spots available for the area’s open firearms deer hunt scheduled Jan. 18-20. The first 115 hunters who appear at the designated check-in station from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. local...

Hunters face penalties for bringing whole deer and elk carcasses into Kentucky from out of state

Modern gun seasons for deer in surrounding states open as soon as this weekend. It’s a good time for big game hunters traveling outside of Kentucky to review the rules on bringing their harvests home. Kentucky prohibits anyone from bringing whole carcasses of deer or elk into Kentucky from another state. This also applies to other big game, such as caribou or moose. Hunters may transport deer and...