Bear Hunters: The quota for the 2016 archery/crossbow season for bears WAS MET on Sunday Oct 23. Therefore, the archery/crossbow season for bears is now CLOSED. For information about checking bears, click here.​​​


Migratory Bird Hunting

Before hunting migratory birds, hunters must go online and fill out the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey before they are legal migratory bird hunters.  See below for detailed information.


The information listed here is for Dove, Wood Duck, Teal, Woodcock, Snipe and Crow

September 1, 2016 - February 28, 2017

This page is dedicated to migratory bird hunting but you may download the

Entire 2016 Dove Guide here



License: Unless license exempt, hunters must possess a valid Kentucky hunting license when hunting the species listed in this guide.

A Kentucky Migratory Game Bird-Waterfowl Hunting Permit, along with a federal migratory bird stamp, authorize the holder to hunt all types of migratory game birds including waterfowl (ducks, geese, coots, mergansers).

For those who hunt migratory birds other than waterfowl, only a Kentucky Migratory Game Bird-Waterfowl Permit is required.  Before hunting migratory birds, hunters must now go online or call 1-800-858-1549 weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and fill out the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey before they are legal migratory bird hunters.

The process takes less than 5 minutes. Go to "My Profile" to fill out the survey. This takes you to a page that asks for some basic information to confirm your identity. After completing the HIP survey, you will receive a confirmation number that must be written on your hunting license or Kentucky Migratory Game Bird-Waterfowl Hunting permit.


It is illegal to hunt doves or waterfowl over a “baited” field. Baited fields are areas where grain, salt or other attractants have been placed other than those that occur by legitimate agricultural practices. Mature wildlife food plots grown to attract doves are legal hunting areas, as long as no additional attractants have been placed on these areas.


When field dressing, or otherwise preparing for transportation, any of the species on this page, except doves, one fully feathered wing or the head must be left on each bird for identification.


All shotguns used to hunt any game species in Kentucky (except deer) must be plugged to hold three shells total; one in the chamber and two in the magazine. Shotguns of 10 gauge or smaller are permitted.


No person shall give, put or leave any migratory game birds at any place or in the custody of another unless the birds are tagged by the hunter with the following: 1) The hunter’s signature and address; 2) The total number of birds involved, by species; 3) The dates such birds were taken. Tagging is required if birds are being transported by another person for the hunter, or if birds have been left for cleaning, storage (including temporary storage), shipment or taxidermy services.


All migratory game birds shall be retrieved, if possible, and retained in the custody of the hunter in the field.


Possession or use of any lead shot while hunting or attempting to take waterfowl is prohibited statewide. Only USFWS-approved non-toxic shot may be possessed and used to hunt doves on Ballard, Boatwright, Doug Travis, Sloughs, Kaler Bottoms, Kentucky River, Duck Island, Taylorsville Lake, Ohio River Islands, South Shore, Yatesville Lake WMAs and Clarks River NWR and other areas as posted by signs.


NOTE:  Licenses and permits are not required for kids under the age of 12.


Migratory Birds (dove, snipe, woodcock, moorhens, rails gallinules)

Ages 12-15:

Youth Hunting License*

Ages 16-64:

Annual** or 1-Day Hunting License
+ Migratory Game Bird-Waterfowl Permit **

Ages 65 and older OR Disabled:

Senior/Disabled License

Waterfowl (ducks, geese, coots and mergansers)

Ages 12-15:

Youth Hunting License *

Ages 16-64:

Annual** or 1-Day Hunting License
+  Migratory Game Bird-Waterfowl Permit **
+ Federal Duck Stamp

Ages 65 and older OR Disabled:

Senior/Disabled License
+ Federal Duck Stamp

NONRESIDENTS (must buy nonresident licenses/permits)

Migratory Birds (dove, snipe, woodcock, moorhens, rails gallinules)

Ages 12-15:

Youth Hunting License

Ages 16 and older:

Annual, 1-Day or 7-Day Hunting License
+ Migratory Game Bird-Waterfowl Permit

Waterfowl (ducks, geese, coots and mergansers)

Ages 12-15:

Youth Hunting License

Ages 16 and older:

Annual, 1-Day or 7-Day Hunting License
+ Migratory Game Bird-Waterfowl Permit
+ Federal Duck Stamp

* Included in Youth Sportsman's License
** Included in Resident Sportsman's License

NOTE:  HIP survey required for all migratory bird hunters 16 and over


SEASON DATES - searchable application


Dove, private land:

September 1:  11 a.m. to sunset
Remainder of dove season:  one-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Dove, public land (WMA's, leased fields):

September 1 - October 26:  11 a.m. to sunset. 
Second and third segments of dove season: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset

All other species:

One-half hour before sunrise to sunset


Daily limit refers to the number of birds which may be taken during a one-day period. Possession limit applies to transporting birds after two or more days of hunting but does not permit a double daily bag limit in the field.



Eurasian collared doves resemble mourning doves but possess a black slash across the back of their necks. Hunters should not continue to hunt for Eurasian collared doves after reaching the 15-bird daily dove bag limit. Eurasian collared doves cleaned in the field count toward the 15-bird daily dove bag limit. If the head and/or wing remains attached during transport or in the field, hunters may take unlimited numbers of Eurasian collared doves.

Eurasian Collared Dove



Mechanical devices and electronic attracting devices for crow hunting may only be used during the open season. Crows observed committing or about to commit acts of depredation may be taken year- round; however, persons attempting to take depredating crows must use U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved non-toxic shot, shall not use blinds, decoys, calls or other lures to attract birds into shooting range during the closed season.


USFWS-approved non-toxic shot no larger than size T is required for all waterfowl hunting. Hunters may not possess or use lead shot while hunting or attempting to take waterfowl.


The following areas are closed to this season:

  1. Northeast Goose Zone: Bath, Menifee, Morgan (except the portion in Paintsville Lake WMA) and Rowan counties including Cave Run Lake.
  2. West-Central Goose Zone public lands (private lands are open): Muhlenberg County, Ohio County south of Rough River, Butler County west of Hwy. 79 and north of Hwy. 70, and Hopkins County east of Hwys. 814 and Madisonville, and south of Hwy. 85 east of Madisonville.
  3. Ballard Zone: Private lands in this zone are now open to this season, public lands remain closed. The portion of Ballard County north or west of the Ballard-McCracken County line to Hwy. 358; Hwy. 358 to U.S. 60; U.S. 60 to the city limits of Wickliffe; the city limits of Wickliffe to the center of the Mississippi River.

Areas manipulated for dove hunting ARE NOT legal for waterfowl hunting.


Two weekends, one in each duck zone, have been designated for youth only to waterfowl hunt. Hunters under age 16 may take a legal limit of ducks, coots, mergansers and geese on these days.  See the Waterfowl Hunting section for more information.


PUBLIC DOVE FIELDS (WMA's and Cooperative Fields)

Private fields in the cooperative dove field program are open for public dove hunting Sept. 1 and 3 (except Mentor- Youth Hunt sites are closed to the general public Sept. 1-4).  All private cooperative dove fields reopen Sept. 5 - Oct. 26. Private cooperative fields are closed to public access except on the dates listed above. Hunters may drive by private cooperative fields prior to the season but may not leave their vehicles to scout. Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are open during regular seasons under statewide regulations unless otherwise specified in the following list.

Wet weather may have delayed spring planting of some fields.  Field conditions may vary considerably, even on the same WMA. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife recommends hunters scout fields listed below to ensure they are ready for the time you plan to hunt. When hunting a public area, hunt safely and be courteous of others. Do not leave trash behind. The future of the cooperative dove field program depends on you.


Ballard County

  • Ballard Wildlife Management Area (WMA): U.S. 60 west from Paducah, about 16 miles then right onto Hwy. 310. Travel about 6 miles to stop sign at Hwy. 358. Cross Hwy. 358 and continue on Hwy. 310 to Hwy 1105. Cross Hwy. 1105 onto Mitchell Lake Rd. then travel about 2 miles to fields on both sides of road. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)-approved, non-toxic shot only.
  • Boatwright WMA:  Two fields:  Field 1 - U.S. 60 west from Paducah to Barlow. In Barlow, turn right onto N. 4th St., for one block to a left onto Holloway Landing Rd. for 2.8 miles. Turn right onto Sallie Crice Rd. for 1.6 miles, then left at Olmstead Unit sign for 0.9 miles to yellow gate. Parking on left. Walk through gate, field on right. Field 2 - U.S. 60 west from Paducah to Wickliffe, then right on Hwy. 51 for 2.6 miles to a right into the Swan Unit. Stay on road for 2.5 miles, fields on both sides of road. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)-approved, non-toxic shot only.

Carlisle County

  • Doug Travis WMA:  From Bardwell, take Hwy. 123 west for 7 miles to Berkley. Take a right (west) onto Lower River Rd. (Hwy. 1217) for 3.3 miles to a right (east) onto Fish Lake Spur Rd for 0.4 mile to field on right. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)-approved, nontoxic shot only.

Livingston County

  • From Carrsville, take Hwy. 135 east 0.6 mile to field on left. 

Special Closings

StarIndicates a Mentor/Youth Hunt site, where all or part of the area is reserved for Mentor/Youth Hunt participants on certain dates. Reservations are required for these hunts. Call 1-800-858-1549 for more information.

McCracken County

  • West Kentucky WMA, Tract 1: From Paducah, U.S. 60 west to Future City, right (north) onto Hwy. 996 for 1.5 miles. Left at stop sign onto Hwy. 725 for 1 mile. Field on right. Tract 4 and 4A: Two fields. U.S. 60 west from Paducah for 10.5 miles from I-24, turn right (north) onto Bethel Church Rd., travel about 3.25 miles, turn right onto gravel road for 0.6 mile to mobility- impaired accessible pond. Fields directly north and east of pond. Tract 5: Two fields. U.S. 60 west from Paducah to Future City, then right (north) onto Hwy. 996, for 3.5 miles, then left (west) onto Hwy. 358 for 1.7 miles. Turn right (north) onto Boldry School Rd. for about 1 mile to fields on both sides of road. Tract 7A: One field. U.S. 60 west from Paducah to Hwy. 996 for 3.5 miles, then left onto Hwy. 358 for 1.3 miles to field on right. Hunters on Tracts 4A and 7A must sign-in at check in-box before hunting.


Barren County

Breckinridge County

  • Yellowbank WMA20 miles north of Hardinsburg on Hwy. 259; 20 miles west of Brandenburg on Hwy. 144 to Hwy. 259. 2 fields, see map at Information Station. On Tract 4, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)-approved, non-toxic shot only (marked by signs).

Henderson County

  • Sloughs WMA:  Three fields off Hwy. 268; one field off Mt. Vernon Rd.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)- approved, non-toxic shot only.

Hopkins County

  • From the Pennyrile Parkway, take exit 37, turn east toward Pilot Truck Stop, then right onto Hwy. 813 for about 4.8 miles to field on left side of highway.

Muhlenberg/Ohio Counties

  • Peabody WMA: Sinclair Unit, 3 fields; Baker Bottoms Unit, 2 fields; and Ken Unit, 3 fields. User permit required for Peabody WMA, call (270) 476-1889 for more information.

Union County

  • StarHigginson-Henry WMA:  Hwy. 56, about 7 miles southeast of Morganfield. Two fields, see maps at kiosk. One field (marked by signs) closed Sept. 1-3 for Mentor/Youth Hunt; call 1-800-858-1549 for reservations.
  • Big Rivers WMA:  Two fields. Union County field:  From Sturgis, take Hwy. 109 north, then left on Hwy. 1508 for about 1.4 miles to a left onto Lovers Lane.  Field off Lovers Lane.  Crittenden County field:  From Sturgis, Hwy. 365 south to field next to WMA office.


Franklin County

  • T.N. Sullivan WMA:  From Frankfort, take U.S. 127 north for 4.1 miles to a right onto Steele Branch Rd. and proceed to the "T" with Old Owenton Road  Turn left and travel 0.4 mile to a right onto Hwy. 1262 (Sullivan Lane) for 0.75 mile to WMA.  Follow signs to field. 

Grant County

  • StarCurtis Gates Lloyd WMA:  2 fields. Take Crittenden exit from I-75. Follow U.S. 25 south to Hwy. 491, turn left across railroad tracks, then right on Wildlife Rd.  Field 1 is open to public hunting under statewide regulations. Field 2 closed Sept. 1-3 for Mentor/Youth Hunt; call 1-800-858- 1549 for reservations.

Harrison County

  • Griffith Woods WMA:  From Georgetown, take U.S. 62 east toward Cynthiana. Field on left 0.5 mile from intersection of Hwy. 353 (Russell Cave Road).

Henry County

  • Kentucky River WMA:  2 tracts.  Welsh Tract: U.S. 421 to Hwy. 561, 1 mile west of Gest (near Lock 3).  Boone Tract:  Hwy 355 to Gratz.  Turn left onto KY 22.  Cross the Kentucky River then take a right onto KY 389 and travel about 3 miles.  Follow signs for parking.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)-approved, non-toxic shot only on both tracts.

Madison County

  • Miller Welch-Central Kentucky WMA:  9 miles southeast of Richmond; from U.S. 421 at Kingston left (east) onto Hwy. 3376 (Dreyfus Rd.) for about 2 miles. Turn right (south) onto Muddy Creek Rd. (just past WMA office) to dove fields on right.
  • From Interstate I-75 exit 95, take Hwy 627 east for 2.5 miles to field on left (north) side of road.

Marion County

  • ​From Lebanon, take U.S. 68/KY 55 west for 1.3 miles. Turn right onto KY 426 (Miller Pike) for 3.6 miles, then left on KY 84 for three-tenths of a mile. Take the first left onto KY 412 (Saint Joseph Road) and travel 1.5 miles to Sally Ray Pike. Turn right and travel six-tenths of a mile to the dove field parking area on the left.

Mercer County

  • StarFrom Bluegrass Parkway exit 59, take U.S. 127 south to Lower Clay Lick Road for 0.5 mile.  Follow signs to parking area.  Closed Sept. 1-4 for Mentor/Youth Hunt on Sept. 3; call 1-800-858-1549 for reservations.  Field opens to public hunting Sept. 5.
  • From Bluegrass Parkway exit 59, take U.S. 127 south for 2 miles to a right onto Wheat School Rd. for 1.4 miles to a right onto Bondville Rd. for 2 miles to a right onto Hawkins Lane. Follow signs to field.
  • From the Bluegrass Parkway exit 59, travel south on U.S. 127 for 3.8 miles to a right onto Kirkwood Rd for 0.25 mile, then right onto Bondsville Rd, then right onto Crews St. Field on right.

Nelson County

  • From the Bluegrass Parkway exit 25 and travel Hwy 150 towards Bardstown.  Go 0.25 mile to a left onto Pottershop Loop Rd., take first left onto Pottershop Rd.  Travel 2 miles to field on left.

Shelby County

  • U.S. 60 to Hwy. 395, travel about 3 miles, take left onto Hwy. 1005 for 2 miles, then left onto Harley Thompson Rd. for 0.25 mile to field on right.

Spencer County

  • Taylorsville Lake WMA: Three fields. Fields 1 and 2: Take Hwy. 248 from Taylorsville for 9 miles to a right onto Old Briar Ridge Rd. (at the Country Store). Travel 1.5 miles to fields on left. Field 3: From Taylorsville travel east on Hwy. 248, turn south onto Hwy 2239/Overlook Rd. Field will be on the right with parking at second gravel lot.



Bath County

  • Clay WMA: Justice Tract: From I-64 at - exit 110, take KY 11 north for 17.8 miles to a left onto Little Flat-Ledford Rd. Travel 0.7 miles to parking area on right.
  • From Owingsville, take Hwy. 111 north for 6.5 miles.  Field on right on Old Wyoming Road.

Fleming County

  • Marietta Booth tract of Clay WMA: From Carlisle take Hwy. 32 east for about 12 miles then right at WMA sign. Go 0.3 mile to WMA parking area on left. 

Greenup County

  • South Shore WMA:  From South Shore take U.S. 23 east to a left (north) at the South Shore WMA sign for 0.4 mile. Field is adjacent to parking area. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)-approved, non-toxic shot only.

Morgan County

  • Paintsville Lake WMA: From Paintsville, take Hwy. 40 west for 1.5 miles, turn right onto Hwy. 172 (west) for 14 miles to field on left. From Morehead, take Hwy. 519 south to a left onto U.S. 460, then left onto Hwy. 172 (east) for 15 miles to field on right.

Nicholas County

  • From Millersburg, take U.S. 68 north - east 1 mile to a right onto Hwy. 396 (Carpenter Pike) and travel 2.8 miles to farm on left.

Pike County

  • Fishtrap Lake WMA: From U.S. 23 south of Pikeville, take U.S. 460 east for about 15.2 miles. Turn left and proceed about 3.2 miles to field.


Green County

  • From Greensburg take Hwy. 61 north for 8.1 miles, turn left onto Hwy. 569 for 5.3 miles to a right onto Hwy. 566. Travel 1.4 miles to fields on both sides of the road.  From Greensburg, U.S. 68 south for 7.3 miles to a right onto Hwy. 218 for 2.1 miles, then left onto Roy Bagby Road for 0.7 mile to field at end of road on right.  Closed Sept. 1-4 for Mentor/Youth Hunt on Sept. 3;  call 1-800-858-1549 for reservations.  Field opens to public hunting on Sept. 5.

Lincoln County

  • From Stanford, take U.S. 27 north for 0.16 mile to a left on to KY 590. Travel 1.5 miles to a gravel lane marked by yellow dove field sign.  Turn left and proceed to marked parking area.  

Taylor County

  • Green River Lake WMA: From Campbellsville, take Hwy. 70 east for about 2.2 miles to dirt road on left (across from Hwy. 76).




1) The main block of Robinson Forest WMA; 2) the portion of Grayson Lake WMA within three-quarters of a mile of the dam, the Deer Creek Branch, the shores of Camp Webb and the state park; 3) the Greenbrier Creek Branch of Yatesville Lake, including all islands, north of the mouth of Greenbrier Creek Branch; 4) Land Between The Lakes NRA from Sept. 30 - Nov. 30.


All designated goose refuge lakes within the Western Kentucky coalfields are closed to all waterfowl hunting.


The following areas are waterfowl refuges: portion of Lake Cumberland WMA including Wesley Bend (bounded by Fishing Creek, Fishing Creek Road and Beech Grove Road) and Yellowhole (bounded by Fishing Creek Road and Hickory Nut Road) are closed to the public Oct. 15 - March 15. Ohio River Waterfowl Refuge (From Smithland Lock and Dam upstream to powerline crossing at river mile 911.5) is closed to hunting Oct. 15 - March 15 and Stewart Island is closed to the public Oct. 15 - March 15. On Peabody WMA, portions of Sinclair and Homestead mines as marked by signs are closed to the public Oct. 15 - March 15. On Sloughs WMA, the Sauerheber Unit is closed to the public Nov. 1-March 15 except the Crenshaw and Duncan tracts which are open for waterfowl hunting only. The area of Yellowbank WMA posted by signs is closed to the public Oct. 15 - March 15.


Wildlife Management Areas not listed here or in the “Closed Areas” section are open under statewide regulations.


Dove: Sept. 1 - Oct. 13, 2016
Snipe: Sept. 16 - Oct. 13, 2016
Rails, Moorhen, Gallinules: Sept. 1 - Oct. 13, 2016

No woodcock hunting permitted. Areas designated by signs are closed to all hunting.


Dove:  Sept. 1 - Oct. 13, 2016
Snipe:  Sept. 17 - Oct. 13, 2016

No woodcock hunting permitted.


Breech- and muzzle-loading shotguns may be used to take wood ducks and teal on the shoreline portions of the Pioneer Weapons Areas at 1) Cave Run Lake, and 2) all waterfowl at Barren River Lake.

WEST KENTUCKY WMA (McCracken County)

Dove, snipe and woodcock: Open under statewide seasons, except closed during gun deer seasons.

(WMA closed to September Canada goose season.)


The following areas have special seasons and regulations for all hunting. Contact the individual areas at the addresses and telephone numbers listed below.

For 2016, no dove fields will be available due to wet weather. (270) 527-5770

Outdoor Recreation Branch, Bldg. 6645
101st Airborne Div. Ave.
Ft. Campbell, KY 42223-5000
(270) 798-2175

Hunt Control Office
Fort Knox, KY 40121-5719
(502) 624-7311

100 Van Morgan Drive 
Golden Pond, KY  42211-9001
(270) 924-2065

3982 Waverly Road 
Williamstown, WV 26187
(304) 375-2923, ext. 117

4343 Hwy. 157
Union City, TN 38261
(731) 538-2481



Fields set aside for Mentor/Youth hunts are open Sept. 3 to pre-registered hunters only. On this day, adult dove hunters can introduce a young hunter to the challenge and tradition of the early season dove hunt. Hunts require pre-registration (see rules below for details). Thereafter, unreserved slots will be available on a first come, first served basis. Mentor/Youth dove fields on wildlife management areas reopen to the public Sept. 4, while private fields operated by the department reopen for general public hunting Sept. 5. The following rules describe the hunt.


  1. Open only to adults accompanied by a youth (ages 15 and under), though not necessary for the youth to hunt.
  2. Both mentor and youth can hunt, but must do so from the same field location (stake). All hunters must stay within 15 feet of their assigned shooting location. One adult may take two youths to these hunts. Two shotguns are allowed per stake. Each hunter is allowed 15 doves.
  3. The number of hunters in Mentor/ Youth Hunt fields will be strictly limited to insure a safe and quality hunt.
  4. Field slots will be available only by advanced registration from 8 a.m. EDT Aug. 8, until 4:30 p.m. EDT, Aug. 19; call 1-800-858-1549 weekdays from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Unreserved slots will be available on a first come, first served basis at the field on the day of the hunt until all slots are filled.
  5. Hunting groups must check in prior to hunting and check out prior to leaving the field with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife staff.
  6. After the field is filled, no new hunting groups will be allowed in.
  7. Hunting groups in the field may move to different staked sites when the assigned group vacates that site.
  8. Hunters must leave their guns at their shooting location (stake) when retrieving downed birds.
  9. Shooting hours limited to 2 - 7 p.m., local time. All hunting groups must be out of the field by 7:30 p.m., local time.
  10. All hunters will be responsible for cleaning up their shooting location (including empty shells) prior to leaving the field.
  11. Mentors and youth must conduct themselves in a safe manner and abide by these and other rules posted at the hunt field. Failure to do so will result in termination of hunting privilege for that field that day.
  12. Hunter education and licensing requirements apply.