Restrictions on feeding wildlife


Kentucky law (301 KAR 2:015)​ prohibits feeding of wildlife in certain instances to help protect and conserve populations of native species, which provide important ecological, social and economic benefits to the Commonwealth. These include restrictions that are 1) statewide or 2) area-specific, as described below. Restrictions on feeding/baiting help to reduce impacts from diseases and unnaturally high concentration of predators, particularly when wildlife are young and more susceptible to these threats.

Statewide Prohibition on Feeding of Wildlife: March 1 - July 31

Wildlife shall not be fed statewide in Kentucky from March 1 through July 31 except as follows per 301 KAR 2:015, where “feeding”:

(a) Means willingly, wantonly, or knowingly depositing, distributing, or scattering of shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, millet, milo, safflower seed, sunflower seed, thistle, wheat, or other grain or any manufactured feed or food product to be consumed by wildlife; and

​(b) Does not mean the establishment and maintenance of plantings for wildlife, foods found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural planting practices or harvesting practices, foods available to wildlife through normal agricultural practices of livestock feeding if the areas are occupied by livestock actively consuming the feed on a daily basis, or standing farm crops under normal agricultural practices.​

Plantings (such as food plots planted to forages, grains or legumes) for wildlife and normal agricultural practices are permissible statewide.

Salt and mineral licks for wildlife are permissible statewide except in the CWD Surveillance Zone counties (see below).

Bird feeders within the curtilage of the home (immediate yard) are permissible statewide.

Fish may be fed year-round (in private ponds).


CWD Surveillance Zone Prohibition on Feeding of Wildlife: Year-round

In a department-designated Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Surveillance Zone or Management Zone county, persons shall not bait or feed using grain, salt, mineral, or other ingested attractants, except:

  1. Normal agricultural practices;
  2. Wildlife food plots or plantings;
  3. Bird feeders within the curtilage of the home; and
  4. Furbearer trapping, except that trappers shall not use grain, salt, or mineral.​

Currently, this feeding (and baiting) prohibition and other special restrictions apply to the CWD Surveillance Zone in western Kentucky that includes these 8 counties: Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman, Graves, Marshall and McCracken (see map below).

2024 CWD Surveillance Zone