An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
The information listed here is for Dove, Wood Duck, Teal, Woodcock, Snipe and Crow (September 1, 2021 - February 28, 2022).
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.
View Public Dove Fields for more details.
License: Unless license exempt, hunters must possess a valid Kentucky hunting license when hunting the species listed in this guide.
A Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl 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 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 Bird/Waterfowl 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 or Sandhill cranes is prohibited statewide. Non-toxic shot is required for hunting waterfowl. Most major manufacturers offer non-toxic shot shells. A list of non-toxic shot currently approved by the USFWS can be found at:
Only USFWS-approved non-toxic shot may be possessed and used to hunt doves, gallinules, rails, woodcock, snipe or other migratory birds on the following WMA’s: Ballard, Boatwright, Doug Travis, Duck Island, Kaler Bottoms, Sloughs, Kentucky River, Ohio River Islands, South Shore, Yatesville Lake, and other areas as posted by signs.
* Included in Youth Sportsman's License** Included in Resident Sportsman's LicenseNOTE: HIP survey required for all migratory bird hunters 16 and older
September 1, 2021: 11 a.m. to sunsetRemainder of dove season: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset
September 1 - October 26, 2021: 11 a.m. to sunset.
Second and third segments of dove season: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset
One-half hour before sunrise to sunset
Daily Bag Limit − The total limit of a specific migratory game bird species that may be taken during legal shooting hours for one calendar day.
Possession Limit − The total limit of a specific migratory game bird species that may be in your possession at any time, whether on your person or stored in another location(including your home or taxidermist).
Note: Migratory birds shot in another state, count toward a hunter’s daily and possession limits.
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.
Mechanical devices and electronic attracting devices for crow hunting may only be used during the open 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 during this season:
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.
All public dove fields will be closed to all access from August 15 until sunrise on September 1.
To view a map of the 2021 Kentucky Dove Fields
Click Here .
Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are open during regular seasons under statewide regulations unless otherwise specified in this guide. 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. From August 15 until sunrise on September 1, there is no access allowed in the dove fields. All scouting must be done from the road or parking lot.
Cooperator fields in the cooperative dove field program are open for public dove hunting Sept. 1, but will be closed Sept. 2 - 3, reopening Sept. 4 - Oct. 26, 2021. Private cooperative fields are closed to public access except on the dates listed above. Prior to the season, hunters may drive by private cooperative fields but may not leave their vehicles to scout.
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.
VPA Cooperator Field, 47 acres hemp: From Mayfield, travel south on KY 303 for approximately 11 miles and turn right onto Elmos Rd. Continue 1.9 miles; field will be on the left. Field opens Sept. 4 and will remain open until Oct. 26.
VPA Cooperator Field, 58 acres hemp, 9 acres tobacco field sown with cover crop: From Mayfield, travel south on KY 303 for approximately 16.2 miles; fields will be on both sides of road. Field opens Sept. 4 and will remain open until Oct. 26.
Tract 4 and 4A (Tract 4, 10 acres, sunflowers; Tract 4A, 6 acres, burned wheat): From Paducah, U.S. 60 west for 10.5 miles from I-24, turn right (north) onto Bethel Church Rd, travel about 3.25 miles, turn right onto gravel WMA road for 0.6 mile to mobility-impaired accessible pond. Fields are directly north and east of pond.
Hunters in Tract 4A must sign in at check-in box at field before hunting.
Tract 5 (two fields, 12 acres and 11 acres, both sunflowers): From Paducah, take U.S. 60 west to Future City, then right (north) onto KY 996, for 3.5 miles, then left (west) onto KY 358 for 1.7 miles. Turn right (north) onto Boldry School Rd for about 1 mile, turn left onto first gravel WMA road for 0.25 mile. First field is on the right. Second field is about 0.25 mile farther north on Boldry School Road, on the right (east) side.
Cooperator Field: Take Exit 11 off I-24 at Paducah and travel south on KY 1954 (Husband Rd) approximately 0.5 mile and turn left onto Lyndon Rd. Travel 1.94 miles to intersection at the stop sign. Continue straight ahead onto Sheehan Bridge Rd. Dove field parking area will be 1.1 miles ahead on the left. Field will be open Sept. 1, but will be closed Sept. 2-3. Field reopens Sept. 4 and will remain open until Oct. 26.
VPA Cooperator Field, 19 acres mixed hemp/grain/other habitat: From I-24 in Paducah, take Exit 3 and go west on KY 305 (Cairo Rd/Old Cairo Rd) for 1.8 miles. Turn right onto KY 358 W then continue for 3.4 miles to the stop sign at the T-intersection. Turn right onto KY 996/KY 358W for 0.3 miles; turn left onto KY 358 W and continue for 7.5 miles. Turn Left onto Vaughn Rd; field will be 0.6 miles on the left. Field will be open Sept. 1, but will be closed Sept. 2-3. Field reopens Sept. 4 and will remain open until Oct. 26.
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 quota hunt permittes. 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, 2021Snipe: Sept. 18 - Oct. 13, 2021Rails, Moorhen, Gallinules: Sept. 1 - Oct. 13, 2021
No woodcock hunting permitted. Areas designated by signs are closed to all hunting.
Dove: Sept. 1 - Oct. 13, 2021Snipe: Sept. 18 - Oct. 13, 2021
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.
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.
FORT CAMPBELL MILITARY RESERVATION Outdoor Recreation Branch, Bldg. 6645
101st Airborne Div. Ave.Ft. Campbell, KY 42223-5000
FORT KNOX MILITARY RESERVATION Hunt Control Office
Fort Knox, KY 40121-5719
LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES NATIONAL RECREATION AREA100 Van Morgan Drive
Golden Pond, KY 42211-9001(270) 924-2065
OHIO RIVER ISLANDS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE 3982 Waverly Road
Williamstown, WV 26187
(304) 375-2923, ext. 117
REELFOOT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE 4343 Hwy. 157
Union City, TN 38261
Fields set aside for Mentor/Youth hunts are open Sept. 4 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. 5.