A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Take advantage of falling temperatures to find fall spots to bank fish for bass

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward The length of day relative to the time of year never changes. As the nights lengthen slightly with each passing day in fall, the overnight temperatures drop and pull heat from the top layers of lakes. This development is already underway, but will peak over the next month and make excellent fishing conditions for black bass. “The cooler, oxygenated water in...

New pistol range open at Kleber Wildlife Management Area; dedication ceremony set for Oct. 23

A dedication ceremony for the first pistol range built by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is set for 1 p.m. Oct. 23 at Kleber Wildlife Management Area in Owen County. The new pistol pit is next to an existing tube rifle range at the area. “We partnered with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation on this project,” said Ben Robinson,...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Changing deer patterns can result in the ritual ‘October Lull’ for hunters

Most bow hunters will tell you the most difficult time to hunt deer during Kentucky’s 136-day archery season may be the so-called October Lull. In early-to-mid October deer seem to disappear into thin air. Early season stands where hunters saw lots of deer suddenly go cold, as if some mythical switch has been flipped. In fact, there’s no drop off in deer activity. The October Lull can be explained...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Bolt-action rifle chambered in 7mm-08 good choice for Kentucky deer hunters

Selecting a rifle for deer hunting in Kentucky need not be a daunting task. Hunters who are planning on buying a firearm for their own use, for a son, daughter or grandchild, should consider a bolt-action rifle chambered in 7mm-08. The 7mm-08, developed my Remington in 1980, is an ideal cartridge for hunting deer in the conditions most often encountered in Kentucky, where shots are typically in the...

Kennedy Mill Bridge replacement will temporarily shut down some boat traffic at Herrington Lake

Work on a replacement for Kennedy Mill Bridge on Herrington Lake will shut down boating in the vicinity for a few days next month. The Kennedy Mill Bridge, part of KY 152, links Garrard and Mercer counties. Deterioration of the 1924-era bridge caused its replacement this year. Construction related to the project will prevent boating near the bridge for a few days around Oct. 9. The Kennedy Mill Bridge,...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Woody Plants of Kentucky and Tennessee great addition for amateur naturalists

A deer hunter finds an acorn in the woods and wants to know what species of oak it came from; a hiker encounters an unfamiliar shrub at trail side covered in distinctive foliage and colorful berries. Even for experienced outdoor enthusiasts, the diversity of the natural world provides a continual source of amazement. Identification of woody plants — trees, shrubs, and woody vines — is...

Rifle range on Kleber Wildlife Management Area open again following recent upgrade project

The tube rifle range at John A. Kleber Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Owen County is open again to public use after a closure to allow for upgrades. Tube ranges use large steel pipes to limit the direction of a bullet’s travel. Shooters sit on a bench and fire their guns through the tubes. The facilities are self-service and not staffed. Tube ranges are for rifles, muzzle loading guns and shotguns...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Answering a few leftover questions from KET’s fall hunting call-in show

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Viewers of “Kentucky Afield” television picked up their phones and took to social media last weekend to submit more than 200 questions for the annual fall hunting call-in show. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources wildlife biologists Gabe Jenkins and John Morgan, along with Sgt. Rufus Cravens of the department’s Law Enforcement Division, joined...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: EHD outbreak update shows reports of dead, dying deer now in 72 counties

In the past month the number of reports of dead and/or dying deer received by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) has ballooned to 2,967. The tissue and blood samples taken from fresh specimens in the field confirmed that the cause was Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), specifically the EHD-2 strain, according to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens,...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Regular cleaning of firearms will help protect your investment

With hunting season underway, rifles and shotguns are coming out of storage in gun cases or gun safes in preparation for trips afield. The question that every hunter needs to ask is: How long has it been since I thoroughly cleaned this firearm? Rifles and shotguns, purchased new or used — or inherited — represent a significant investment. Routine cleaning is needed to maintain best performance...

Fish and Wildlife Commission recommends price increase for state hunting and fishing licenses

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission has unanimously recommended that the department increase prices for some resident Kentucky hunting and fishing licenses. The Commission is the guiding body for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. It took the action during its September quarterly meeting. It will be the first resident license price increase in more than a decade, and the...

New areas, opportunities available for hunters as new state deer season gets underway

The morning air is crisp and comfortable. Dew blankets the grass and clings to spider webs that glisten as the sun’s rays find them. A late August taste of fall is enough to get any deer hunter excited with anticipation about what is around the corner. The 2017-18 deer season opens on Saturday, Sept. 2 in Kentucky with the start of the 136-day archery season. The crossbow, youth gun, muzzleloader...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Cooler temperatures make outlook for new deer season promising

With Kentucky’s 2017-18 deer season set to open Saturday, with the start of archery hunting, the weather outlook for September looks promising. Yes, rain showers are likely for opening weekend, but the AccuWeather forecast for the month ahead is projected to be cooler to normal in temperature, following a cooler than normal August and a warmer than normal July. The season dates for Kentucky’s...

State Fish and Wildlife Department sponsoring Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop

Registration for the annual Kentucky Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop in September is now open. The weekend program is designed for women 18 and older who want to learn more about the outdoors and develop a variety of outdoor skills, including hunting and fishing. The event is Sept. 15-17 at Camp Robert C. Webb on Grayson Lake. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources sponsors the...

Applications for quota hunts for deer, waterfowl, pheasant and quail open in September

Each year, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources administers quota hunts for deer, upland birds and waterfowl on state wildlife management areas and other public lands. September is the month to apply for these opportunities. Hunters can apply through the department’s website at fw.ky.gov or by phone at 1-877-598-2401. Either option is available 24 hours a day. Applications for these...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Recent EHD outbreak centered on Eastern Kentucky deer population

In recents weeks reports have been trickling in from landowners finding dead and/or dying deer on their property around farms ponds and small streams. Samples taken from some of the deer, and sent to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia, verified that the cause was Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), specifically the EHD-2 strain. “The epicenter was in Magoffin,...

Beaver Lake in Anderson County to be lowered this fall to improve fishing; public hearing set

The Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources plans to lower Anderson County’s Beaver Lake in late fall as part of an effort to improve panfish and largemouth bass fishing in the 158-acre lake. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will hold a meeting to outline the project and take questions from the public at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26. The meeting will be held at the Anderson County...

State sets dates for waterfowl blind drawings at five regional wildlife management areas

The dates are now set for the annual waterfowl blind drawings for Doug Travis, Lake Barkley, Barren River Lake, Green River Lake and Sloughs wildlife management areas (WMAs). Hunters interested in participating in the waterfowl blind drawing must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid Kentucky hunting license, a Kentucky migratory game bird – waterfowl hunting permit and a federal migratory...

State launches online reporting system to help researchers monitor deer disease outbreak

People can now go online to report suspected cases of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in dead or dying deer. “We’ve created an easy-to-use online survey that allows people to notify the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife of dead or dying deer no matter what time of day,” said Gabe Jenkins, big game coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We’ll use this information to create up-to-date...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Signs are positive for a better state dove hunting season this fall

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward The morning fog we’ve seen a few times lately portends that fall hunting seasons are right around the corner. For many Kentuckians, the best time of year begins on Sept. 1, the traditional opener for dove season. Dove hunting is a social event as old friends reunite while standing on the edge of a field, telling stories and keeping their eyes peeled for incoming...