Archery season for deer and fall turkey began September 6.  Read the 2014-15 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide before hunting.​

The hunting season for dove and some other migratory birds began September 1.  Read the 2014-15 Dove Hunting Guide before hunting.​

 Meet the Directors

Hank Patton, Law Enforcement Director 

Hank Patton, Law Enforcement Director

Hank Patton is the Director of our Law Enforcement Division. His overall knowledge and understanding of all agency functions, and his commitment to the department’s core values make him uniquely qualified to lead our Law Enforcement Division. He is a strong leader who is already up to speed.

A retired U.S. Army Major, Patton joined the department in August 2005 after nearly 8 years with the National Wild Turkey Federation. He supervised the budget and operations of not only the Law Enforcement Division, but also the Administrative Services, Engineering, Information and Education, and Public Affairs Divisions. He has essentially filled in as acting director for the Law Enforcement Division since September, 2011.

“I can now focus all my efforts on our law enforcement division,” said Patton. “Our conservation officers not only are some of the best trained law enforcement officers in Kentucky, but in many ways they are the face of the department – the employee with whom our customers most often come into contact.

Increasingly, they also are among the first responders to help our citizens during disasters such as floods and brutal winter storms.” He said. “And that is to be expected because our officers have the training, equipment, and personal drive to navigate treacherous waters and storm-blocked roads to reach stranded people. I am both humbled and proud for this opportunity to be a part of them,” he said.

Hank is a Kentucky native, hailing from Booneville, KY in Owsley County. He has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Eastern Kentucky University, A Master of Arts in Adult Education from Morehead State University, and post graduate work in Higher Education Administration at the University of Kentucky. He is also a graduate of the National Conservation Leadership Institute.

Hank and his family, Susan and Becky, reside in Berea, KY. He is an avid deer, turkey, and small game hunter and angler.


Brian V. Blank, Public Affairs Director 

Brian V. Blank, Public Affairs Director

Brian joins the Department from the industry side of fish, wildlife and boating. Brian has served in several marketing capacities, most notably with Dick’s Clothing and Sporting Goods, Medalist Apparel, and Emotion Kayaks. He also served as the member and marketing director for the American Sport Fishing Association. He has a BA in History from the Messiah College, Grantham, PA. Brian has a vast amount of experience in social networking, community based marketing, customer tracking, product evaluation, and customer recruitment and retention. His skills in developing a grass roots effort to reach new license buyers and evaluating how to retain the existing customers we already have are his most valued assets.

Brian is an avid hunter and angler, and enjoys stream fishing from a kayak, as well as deer and turkey hunting. Brian was born and raised outside of Baltimore, MD, where he learned to appreciate and enjoy the waters around the Chesapeake Bay. As an avid outdoorsman, Brian understands the needs of the hunter, angler, and trapper, and will quickly become an expert in addressing how we can better serve them.

Brian has now made his home in Frankfort.


Ron Brooks, Fisheries Director 

Ron Brooks, Fisheries Director

Ron Brooks, a distinguished instructor from one of the country’s top fisheries research universities, is the new fisheries director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. He replaces Benjy Kinman, who was recently confirmed as a deputy commissioner at the department.

A native of Farmington, Illinois, Brooks, 54, comes to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. Brooks earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology from the school.

“I’ve been researching fisheries for 22 years,” he said. “I have a lot to learn with this job. It is a challenge and that is what I look forward to.”

Brooks refined and successfully redeveloped a reliable technique to mark stocked fish with oxytetracycline, a type of antibiotic that leaves a discernable mark in fish without harming them. Oxytetracycline, also known as OTC, allows biologists to determine whether a fish was stocked. Researchers use this information to gauge the success of stocking programs.

Brooks also conducted studies on sturgeon migration in the Mississippi River, sauger reproductive success in the Illinois River as well as studies on largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and walleye.

The new fisheries director is excited about moving closer to the Cumberland River, where he can pursue his love of trout fishing. “I’ve fished the Cumberland several times,” he said. “I’ve also fished the White River in Arkansas - and the fish in the Cumberland run bigger.”

One of Brooks’ goals as director is conducting more research on stocked fish. “I would also like to increase our exposure and let the rest of the country know about the wonderful fisheries resources we have here in Kentucky,” he said.

Brooks wants to increase the amount of professional publications coming from the fisheries divisions. “Overall, I want to continue what Benjy Kinman’s done with this division,” Brooks said. “He’s done a fantastic job.”


Keith A. Parker, Director of Engineering 

Keith A. Parker, Director of Engineering

Keith A. Parker has recently been named as the Director of the Engineering Division at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Keith started working with the Engineering Division in 1992 as a summer employee while in college. After graduating in 1993 from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, he took a permanent position with the Department and has been in a part of the Engineering Division since. In 1995 Keith obtained his Land Surveyor in Training Certificate and in 1998 he became licensed as a professional engineer. In 2005, he was promoted to a Fish and Wildlife Program Manager which serves as the Assistant Director of the Engineering Division.

As the Director of the Engineering Division, Keith oversees all of the department's construction and design projects while supporting all other divisions in the agency.

A native of Franklin County, Keith resides in Frankfort with his wife and two children. He has been an avid hunter and fisherman all of his life.


Tim Slone, Information and Education Director 

Tim Slone, Information and Education Director

Tim Slone became Director of the Division of Information & Education in September 2003. He began his career with the department as a fisheries division summer aide in 1984. Since then he has served as a fisheries biologist, endangered species biologist, and the wildlife diversity program coordinator. Slone earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies and a Masters of Science in Biology from Morehead State University. As director, Slone oversees all public information services such as Kentucky Afield TV & Radio shows and Kentucky Afield Magazine. He also manages all educational programming, including summer conservation camps, the Salato Wildlife Education Center, Hunter Education, and school conservation program.

Slone is a graduate of the Kentucky Natural Resources Leadership Institute. He is a past president of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. Currently he is a member of the Kentucky Chapter of the Wildlife Society and the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network.

A lifelong sportsman, Slone is an avid bow hunter, bird hunter, and angler. He also enjoys scuba diving, bird watching, and herpetology. In addition to his other leisure time pursuits, Slone is a very bad golfer.


Dr. Karen Alexy Waldrop, Wildlife Director 

Dr. Karen Alexy Waldrop, Wildlife Director

Research Program Coordinator, Dr. Karen J. Alexy Waldrop is now Director of the Division of Wildlife. Dr. Waldrop earned her Doctorate Degree in Forest Resources from Clemson University.

Dr. Waldrop began her association with KDFWR in 1999 when she began working on the elk restoration program in southeastern Kentucky. Then, in 2000, the department funded a Clemson University study of Kentucky’s elk restoration in which she was the lead researcher. That grew into a 2004 post-doctoral study with the University of Kentucky that continued her elk research and management work. She then joined the department as the Research Program Coordinator in March 2005.

Dr. Waldrop has a diverse background in wildlife management and conservation. She has worked with everything from deer and elk to gopher tortoises and salamanders. She has been a hunting and fishing enthusiast most of her life, and she credits her parents for her sound conservation and management values. She enjoys squirrel hunting with her treeing feist squirrel dog Annie, striper fishing, rabbit hunting, crappie fishing, archery hunting for deer and elk, and turkey hunting. She also enjoys kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking. She soon hopes to add rock climbing to her list of activities.


Charles Booker, Administrative Services Director 

Charles Booker, Administrative Services Director

Charles Booker comes to the Department after years of experience in federal, state, and local government. Charles’ passion for serving the needs of Kentucky families led him to attend the University of Louisville for undergraduate studies and law school. While in school, Charles remained involved in his community, inspiring him to focus his career toward government relations, management, and community development. Charles has worked in customer service and legal affairs; managed operations, policy, and personnel as a legislative aide for the Louisville Metro Council; supervised staff in city, state, and county-wide elections; and most recently served as the legislative analyst for the Kentucky state legislature’s Government Contract Review Committee. Charles is a published writer, public speaker, effective manager, and policy strategist. His passions are geared around strengthening Kentucky’s economy and ensuring our youth have every tool and resource they need to succeed and flourish.

Outside of working on behalf of the Commonwealth, Charles is the loving husband to his wife, Tanesha, and the proud father to his beautiful daughter, Kaylin. Charles and his family live in Louisville’s Shawnee neighborhood, where they love to hike in the park, play sports, and enjoy the river.