Duck Hunting in Kentucky

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  • C
  • 95,500

    Duck Statewide Harvest

  • 27,700

    Goose Statewide Harvest

  • 11,800

    No. Waterfowl Licenses Sold Annually

  • 8.5

    Ducks Per Hunter

  • 3.5

    Geese Per Hunter

  • Season $27; one-day $7

    Cost of Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $15

    Cost of Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

  • Season $150; seven-day $65; one-day $25

    Cost of Non-Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $15

    Cost of Non-Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

Duck Hunting Nation Knowledge

You never heard of Daniel Boone lining up the sights of his old Kentucky rifle on a duck. Maybe that’s because Kentucky is better known for deer, turkeys and elk than waterfowl hunting. Still, some pockets in the state hold excellent waterfowl hunting, namely along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

The commonwealth has no shortage of public land, with about 90 WMAs. Hunters will need to study the rules ahead of time, however, as some WMAs have regulations and season dates that differ from statewide rules.

Your best bet for duck hunting in Kentucky has got to be Ballard WMA. At times, up to 100,000 ducks and geese congregate here. The hunting is top-notch, and there’s a drawing to get a blind there. If some folks don’t show, there’s a standby drawing to claim vacant blinds.

Quota hunts are also held at Sloughs WMA. Up to 20,000 geese and 10,000 ducks winter at this 11,000-acre complex of wetlands with some forest and open land.

Yet another must-visit waterfowl destination is Boatwright WMA. Other places of note include Peabody, Tradewater, Barlow Bottoms, Dale Hollow, Obion Creek and Doug Travis WMAs.

The Ohio River is also a major draw for waterfowl, and hunting at the Ohio River Islands WMA can be very good, although hunters should take note of closed areas there.

Unfortunately, most of the best waterfowling opportunities in Kentucky occur along the western and southern portions of the commonwealth. Hunters in other areas have slim pickings. Because of this, we can only rate Kentuck as a C-grade waterfowling destination.

—  Compiled and written by Joe Shead

Photo © Shutterstock

Season Dates and Bag Limits