Grass Field

WMA Management Levels


Wildlife Management Areas

Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are properties owned or managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for conservation and public access. They are categorized into high, moderate and low management levels. “High” intensity management typically includes areas with offices and active habitat work, such as dove fields or food plots. WMAs categorized as “Moderate” management level do not have staff based on those areas but have some active habitat or related management. “Low” management level for a WMA reflects a wilder experience for those seeking it — less hands-on habitat work and generally more natural conditions on the area, but still accessible for hunting and other compatible uses. This new system does not rate how good an area is for hunting or wildlife watching. For example, low-intensity areas may offer better hunting to those who are seeking less hunting pressure or more natural conditions.

High Management WMA Logo

High Management Level

These areas are continually managed and typically have onsite staff, infrastructure, marked access sites and parking lots. These areas tend to be larger and are either owned or leased long-term by the department.

Fields may be managed by planting native grasses, wildflowers, clover or annual grains. Fields may also be managed through mowing, disking, or prescribed fire, controlling invasive species, or leasing to local farmers for row crops or hay. Wetlands may be managed by planting, disking, mowing or managing water levels. Forests may be managed by prescribed burns, forest stand improvements, harvests, tree plantings or the control of invasive species.

"High" level management WMAs may have onsite staff and resources and a direct point of contact for current conditions and management activities. You are welcome to stop by to talk to the friendly and informative staff to get information, but be aware that employees are often out managing the land and are not always in the office.

Moderate Management WMA Logo​​

​Moderate Management Level

WMAs that are managed at "moderate" levels are obviously not as intensively managed, and staff are typically not onsite. Management is limited to habitat and maintenance through prescribed fire, mowing, upkeep of access sites and boundaries and long-term habitat work such as forest stand improvements or wetland development and manipulation. Several of the Moderate Level WMAs plant and prepare fields for dove hunting opportunities as well. These areas are owned or leased by the department and offer ample acreage for hunting, fishing, hiking and sightseeing throughout the state.

Low Management WMA Logo

Low Management Level

​WMAs designated as "low" management intensity levels are typically remote and receive little or no active management. Practices are limited to general maintenance and marking boundaries, though some long-term habitat work may be ongoing. These areas may be difficult to access, with terrain more demanding for visitors to traverse. However, these areas can provide excellent hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities, sometimes because they may attract less attention or be less accessible.

WMA Management Level Interactive Map

To navigate the interactive map below, use the following icons found in the column on the left.

Legend Icon.pngThe first icon opens the "Legend" tab. This tab explains​ each of the map icons.

Layer-List_Icons.pngThe second icon opens the "Layer List" tab. This allows you to select a list of all available features special to this GIS map, including identifying WMA Management Levels. Select or deselect the appropriate checkbox to change the appearance of the map.

Share_Icon.png The third Icon takes you to the "Share" tab. Here you can create sharable hyperlinks for social media or a webpage.​​

Regional Public Hunting Land Map​

Public Lands Map ​​Note: Area listings are numbered or lettered according to how they appear on region pages. ​

Other Public Lands

Hunter Access Areas (HAAs)

These areas are accessible through agreements with landowners to provide public hunting access. Some HAAs may only be open to certain activities. Special regulations may be in place for hunting, fishing and other recreational opportunities on a particular HAAs.

Shooting Sports and Dog Trial Areas

Three of the WMAs in the moderate management level category are primarily used for shooting sports, dog training and field trails. These include the following: Curtis Gates Lloyd WMA, Miller Welch-Central Kentucky WMA and West Kentucky WMA. Although some hunting is allowed in these areas, activities are strictly managed to minimize conflicts between hunters, anglers and other WMA user groups.​​​​​​​​​